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



A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Type 16 mobile combat vehicle fires shot during a live fire exercise at the foot of Mount Fuji in the Hataoka district of the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Aug. 25, 2018. /VCG Photo

Following a scandal involving the cover-up of highly-sensitive activity logs for Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force members conducting a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, the ministry has budgeted half a billion US dollars for a cloud-based, artificial intelligence-equipped system to handle sensitive documents.

Japan's Defense Ministry also plans to acquire six more fifth-generation F-35A stealth fighter jets, one of the Pentagon's most expensive weapons systems, with each jet potentially costing around 120 million US dollars.

In addition, it also plans to upgrade its current mainstay F-15 fighters to carry cruise missiles with a range of 900 km, the ministry said.

In terms of the ministry's mid-to-longer term plans, in its latest Annual White Paper released this week, it set forth its plans to "steadily build up its defense capability."




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