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Record “military budget” proposed for FY2015

  • 2015-01-30 15:00:00
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(Akahata: January 30, 2015 – p. 8)

 

 Military spending (defense-related expenditures) in the proposed FY2015 budget, including allocations for the SACO (Special Action Committee for Okinawa) process or for U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment, will amount to 4.9801 trillion yen, the highest in history. This represents an increase of 95.3 billion yen (2%) from 2014, growing for three consecutive years.

 

 The main factors behind this increase are Japan-U.S. military integration and USFJ realignment outlays for reinforcing military bases. Total budget for this purpose, including the cost of transferring the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) headquarters, is 146.1 billion yen for allocations (or 307.8 billion yen contract-based). This will be a record amount since allocations for this purpose began in FY2007 and the budget clearly gives priority to the U.S. forces.

 

 Outlays for the construction of a new U.S. military base in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa, totaling 24.4 billion yen (17.6 billion yen contract-based), and 92.6 billion yen (101.9 billion yen contract-based) for the reinforcement of the U.S. base in Iwakuni in light of the relocation of carrier-based aircraft there, make up the lion’s share in this category.

 

 In addition to USFJ realignment-related subsidies to the municipalities in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture is also being given 1.85 billion yen for “special regional development projects relating to USFJ realignment” to appease the local community in the intensive process to beef up the Iwakuni base.

 

 The introduction of new weapons to enable the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) overseas and to give the SDF greater offensive capability, in line with the change in constitutional interpretation to authorize the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, has also begun.

 

 Some 15.4 billion yen has been earmarked for the procurement of Global Hawk drones that will make reconnaissance over another country’s territory possible. The purchase of amphibious vehicles to enhance landing capability (30 vehicles for 20.3 billion yen) and vertical takeoff and landing Ospreys (5 aircraft at 51.6 billion yen), in the name of “island defense,” will also begin. A further 5 million yen has also been allocated for studying the introduction of assault landing ships.

 

 Generous procurement of expensive military hardware continues apace. A bulk purchase of 20 cutting-edge P-1 reconnaissance planes will be made at the price of 350.4 billion yen; six stealth F-35 fighters will cost 103.2 billion yen; while an early warning E-2D plane and related equipment will be acquired at 23.2 billion yen.

 

 These weapon purchases will constitute a long-term financial burden. Additional payments to be made after the new fiscal year (payments to be made from FY2016 for multi-year contracts) amount to 2.5623 trillion yen, representing a significant increase of 17.9% from FY2014.

 

 The reinforcement of bases in the Nansei Islands will also be stepped up. Allocations of 17.9 billion yen will be made for creating “marine” forces in Saga and Nagasaki; 3.2 billion yen has been earmarked for a security force to be stationed on Amamioshima (Kagoshima Prefecture); and 200 million yen will be devoted to the creation of a new surveillance unit on Yonaguni Island (Okinawa).

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