It is no longer a secret that Japan, under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has continued Shinzo Abe’s policy of increasing defense spending to reach 2% of GDP while keeping in mind the express and immediate threat posed by an aggressive China as well as North Korea, which may be planning a war in the neighborhood.
With China posing an existential threat now that the communist country has made its intentions toward Taiwan abundantly known, Japan appears to be experiencing a fundamental change in its defense strategy despite its post–World War II reluctance to the use of force.
In light of the traditional rivalry between the two nations for dominance as well as the fact that China, after acquiring Taiwan, will gain a geographical advantage to harm Japanese economic and military interests, observers of the East Asian theater claim that there has been a growing realization among the Japanese people as well as their leaders that China’s invasion on Taiwan will quickly degenerate into an existential threat to the island nation.
by the Defense Ministry for records
According to sources, the Japanese defense ministry requested a record budget of 7.7 trillion yen ($52.67 billion) on Thursday.
Aside from the lingering disputes over claims and counterclaims on several islands along the Japanese coast, the most recent incident in the rivalry between Japan and China involved the release of radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant. In addition to strongly criticizing the Japanese action, China imposed onerous import restrictions on Japanese seafood.
If accepted, the defense ministry’s request for the hefty budget increase will add about a trillion yen to the 6.8 trillion yen budget from the previous year. This is an increase of roughly 12%. In addition, the defense budget would have increased by a trillion yen for the second year in a row.
Reuters said that “the defence ministry plans to set aside more than 900 billion yen for ammunition and weapons, including new ship-based air-defence missiles, according to the budget request”.
To improve logistics capabilities for deploying supplies and weapons to southwest island chains in an emergency, about 600 billion yen will be spent.
The money would also be used to pay for 17 billion yen worth of new transport helicopters, three new landing ships, and a new specialized transport team, according to the newspaper.
In addition, Japan has chosen to pool 64 billion yen for a project to produce next-generation fighter jets with Britain and Italy and 75 billion yen for the development of interceptor missiles with the US to protect against hypersonic weapons.
Japan has learned from the Ukraine War.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated in June of this year that “Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow,” underscoring the fact that China is not a country that adheres to the rules-based global order.
Speaking in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue security was Kishida.
Kishida stated that “countries’ perceptions on security have drastically changed around the world” in reference to Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
Kishida emphasized a shift in Japan’s perspective on war and further militarization of its forces by citing the examples of Germany’s changed military strategy (which increased its defense spending to two percent of its GDP) and Finland and Sweden’s decision to shed their neutrality to join NATO.
The Japanese populace has decided to oppose China.
According to a Nikkei poll conducted in June, more than 90% of Japanese people believe that their nation should be ready to defend itself against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Additionally, more than 40% believe that Japan should actively strengthen its defenses by altering its laws and constitution.
Only 4% of respondents agreed that Japan did not need to prepare for a Chinese contingency.
However, 50% of respondents believed that Japan’s anti-China preparations have to fall within the bounds of the existing legal system.
Increasing the defense budget to 1% of Japan’s GDP was proposed by the government, which is run by the Liberal Democratic Party, and was backed by 56% of respondents, with only 31% opposing it.