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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 30 - September 5  > Defense Ministry requests record-high budget allocation of 7.7 trillion yen
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2023 August 30 - September 5 [POLITICS]

Defense Ministry requests record-high budget allocation of 7.7 trillion yen

September 3, 2023

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Defense Ministry has requested a record-high budget allocation of more than 7.73 trillion yen, excluding U.S. military realignment expenses, for fiscal 2024. Compared to the FY2023 initial budget, the DM budget request increased by about 1.14 trillion yen or by 17.2%. The ministry made this request in line with the "national defense buildup program", one of the three key security documents the Kishida government promoted late last year, which will use a total of 43 trillion yen over the next five years.

The centerpieces the DM cites in its request are: maintenance of stand-off missiles; acquisition of Aegis-equipped vessels; renovation and improvement of the existing SDF garrisons and bases; and creation of permanent joint command headquarters.

The Defense Ministry incorporated 755.1 billion yen in its budget request for R&D, the mass production and acquisition of a variety of long-range missiles such as improved type 12 surface-to-ship missiles, hypersonic guided missiles, and Tomahawk missiles in order to strengthen Japan's "stand-off defense capability". The ministry also incorporated the development cost for a new missile system to enhance flying-range and precision-guided performance.

According to the DM budget request, two warships equipped with an Aegis system will be built as alternatives to the land-based "Aegis Ashore" missile interceptor system whose planned deployment was ended in failure. The two vessels will strengthen "integrated air and missile defense capability". The total cost to acquire the two warships will amount to about 790 billion yen, including the amount which has already been budgeted.

The Japanese and U.S. governments in their summit meeting on August 18 agreed to jointly develop a hypersonic interceptor missile system, the "Glide Phase Interceptor" or GPI. The two Aegis-equipped vessels will be capable of carrying the GPI or the improved version of type 12 surface-to-ship missiles.

These moves will drag Japan deeply into the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) scheme which the United States is promoting on a global scale involving its allies. This U.S.-led scheme includes operations not only to intercept enemy missiles but also to preemptively attack missile-launching bases or air bases located in enemy territory.

It is a serious matter that the Defense Ministry is requesting the creation of permanent joint command headquarters which will centrally control Japan's Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces. As a reason, the ministry cites Japan's lack of full capability to coordinate closely with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The creation of permanent joint command headquarters will further promote the Japan-U.S. military integration.
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