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Japan’s defense budget request for fiscal 2018 to hit record high of 5.25 trillion yen

NHK reported this morning that the Ministry of Defense has decided to make a record defense budget request of about 5.25 trillion yen for fiscal 2018, which includes the cost for boosting the missile defense system to respond to North Korea’s ballistic missile attacks. The network said the MOD is planning to allocate funds for introducing the “Aegis Ashore” missile defense system without disclosing the actual amount of the budget outlay. In addition, the network said the MOD is planning to request funds to acquire a new type of missile interceptor called “SM-3 Block IIA” for Aegis ships, and to develop an advanced radar capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles in light of North Korea’s repeated missile launches on a “lofted” trajectory. The ministry is also reportedly planning to allocate funding for the construction of two escort ships and a submarine and the procurement of six F35A fighter jets and four Ospreys in order to beef up its capability to defend remote islands and waters around Japan in view of China’s growing maritime activities.

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