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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 June 1 - 7  > Japan increases arms purchases under FMS
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2022 June 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

Japan increases arms purchases under FMS

June 1, 2022
Japan will substantially increase its defense budget as Prime Minister Kishida Fumio stated in a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Tokyo on May 23. The Kishida government intends to purchase more U.S.-made weapons under the U.S. pressure to do so.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting on May 31 said that the amount that Japan’s Defense Ministry used for arms purchases under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program has tripled since the inauguration of the Abe government, and that the U.S. administration has been the top supplier of record-setting weapons sales over the past seven years.

Koike pointed out that it is the United States which decides and can unilaterally change the price and the delivery date of weapons.

Koike presented a document the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command had recently submitted to a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives which reads, “Japan approved a record-high defense budget for the seventh consecutive year and continues to procure the most advanced U.S. defense equipment, increasing interoperability and strengthening joint force lethality.”

Koike asked, “Is the government planning to buy more weapons from the United States under the FMS by dramatically expanding the defense budget?”

PM Kishida in response said, “Under our own initiative, we will decide which military weapons and weapons systems are necessary for our defense.”

Showing a movement graph on FMS, Koike said. “The cost of renovation of F-15 fighter jets increased by more than 70 billion yen from the estimate initially given by the U.S. You have just said ‘under Japan’s own initiative’, but the reality is that Japan gives in to U.S. demands.”

Koike said that renovated F-15 fighters will be able to carry missiles with a range of 900 kilometers within which the entire Korean Peninsula, China, and parts of Russia can be targeted.

He asked if these standoff missiles are expected to be used as weapons capable of attacking enemy bases.

Defense Minister Kishida Nobuo replied, “They are not for the so-called enemy strike capability.”

Koike, however, pointed out that former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo last November called for procuring standoff missiles for their strike and counterforce capabilities. “This is the real motive,” said Koike.

He said, “Japan has never objected to U.S. military interventions worldwide in the post-WWII era. Once the U.S. starts a war, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces could be mobilized to attack the enemy command center even if Japan is not under attack. Then, the enemy will see that Japan is taking part in a U.S. preemptive strike and could retaliate against Japan.

Koike stated that when it comes to conflict, the role the government should play is to make diplomatic efforts to prevent a war from occurring. He criticized the government for dismissing this role and moving headlong into a major military buildup.
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