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SECURITY

LDP proposes increasing subsidies for military science research

  • May 18, 2016
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 3
  • Translation

The National Defense Division of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) compiled a proposal on May 17 on enhancing the research and development of military technology. The LDP called for significantly increasing by more than 30 times to 10 million yen the total amount of funding for the Ministry of Defense’s “Innovative Science & Technology Initiative for Security” program, which contributes to basic research by universities, independent administrative institutions, and private companies that could be adapted for military use. However, a group of researchers is criticizing the proposal, saying, “It is a move to return to the prewar period when academic circles were used for war.”

 

The program was established in fiscal 2015. The initial subsidy amount was 300 million yen, which was expanded to 600 million yen in fiscal 2016. In response to the criticism, LDP National Division Head explained, “The funds would be provided for technical research that could be useful for civilian assistance. In order to prevent Japan from lagging behind in the research and development field, a substantial increase is necessary.”

 

The LDP called for the establishment of a new council to draw up a mid- and long-term strategy for weapons technology and coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies. It also sought an increase in the number of personnel in the Acquisition, Technology and Logistic Agency. It included in the proposal such measures as the promotion of joint international arms development with an eye on exports, and the development of small businesses that possess superior technology.

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