Japan to Spend $47B to Strengthen Defense


Japanese F-2 fighters conduct a joint military drill with U.S. B-1B bombers and F-16 fighters off Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu on Nov. 5. | Image by Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan, Reuters

Japan is expected to approve a defense budget equivalent to 47 billion dollars for the fiscal year 2023.

One of the draft amendments to Japan’s three main security agreements is that the country will purchase U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles to strengthen its military capabilities.

“The drastic strengthening of defense capabilities is a major shift in security policy and marks an era,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, as the Mainichi Shimbun reported in Japanese (translated by Google). “We should think about responsible financial resources, and the people of today.”

Japan’s security policy has evolved since the end of WWII in response to China’s and North Korea’s military buildup, Japan has opted to reinforce its defense by revising its policy on counter-strike capabilities.

The Tomahawk missile decision and new national security plan will increase Japan’s defense budget to 2% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to meet NATO’s benchmark established in the National Defense Program Guidelines.

“President Biden reinforced the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of Japan following recent destabilizing ballistic missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the long-range ballistic missile launch over Japan on October 3,” the Biden administration reported in a November statement.

Japan’s post-WWII Constitution limits how much the country can spend on defense, but how it is interpreted has changed over time. Article 9 in the Constitution rules against keeping “war potential” and was seen as a significant restriction on the right to defend itself.

But Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida changed that point when Japan regained its independence in 1950 after the outbreak of the Korean War, according to Discuss Japan.

Japan is looking to purchase somewhere between 400 and 500 Tomahawk missiles, The Washington Post reported. The news from Japan comes within days of the 81st anniversary of the bombing in Pearl Harbor and follows information North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed earlier this month his country would have the most potent nuclear force in the world, The Dallas Express reported.

The changes to the security policy have not been embraced by everyone in Japan.

Kishida is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and broke with some in his party, as well as the opposition party, with the plan to raise taxes to pay for some of the defense budget increase.

“Neither I nor Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura was invited to the government and ruling party liaison meeting the day before yesterday, which is usually expected to be attended,” Minister of State for Economic Security Sanae Takaichi tweeted in Japanese.

She added that she was shocked that no one objected to the tax increases.

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Wayne Manzo, PhD
Wayne Manzo, PhD
1 month ago

Arizona and the Raytheon Kennedy Corporation up to its tricks again. 1000 old TomaHawk Missiles? The Highest Corp plans on building 100,000 homes in Arizona__we don’t want our ancient Missile Assemblers Homeless?

Have Japan design and build their own Missile systems. Do we have an order for 100 Billion in B2 Bomber Junk?