Japan's defense spending to spike for a seventh successive year


Japan's Defense Ministry on Friday requested a record budget of 5.3 trillion yen, or 47.6 billion US dollars, for the next fiscal year starting in April 2019, with the request marking an over 2-percent increase from the initial budget for the current fiscal year.

The overall budget request, to be approved by the end of this year, will likely see Japan's outlays on defense spike for a seventh successive year and mark a fifth record yearly high under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The ministry's request includes allocations to acquire the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system, with two units to be installed over a five-year period from fiscal 2019.

The ministry has also requested to buy a range of interceptor missiles. These comprise next-generation SM-3 Block 2A missiles.

The Defense Ministry also plans to bolster its capabilities in outer space and cyber space. The ministry has asked for 34 million US dollars for a system to preempt possible cyberattacks and about 240 million US dollars for a radar system to monitor activity within the Earth's orbit.

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