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MOD to request budget exceeding ¥5.3 trillion for fiscal 2020

  • August 6, 2019
  • , Nikkei , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has begun coordination to earmark more than 5.3 trillion yen, including the cost of realigning U.S. forces stationed in the country, in its fiscal 2020 budgetary request. The amount is expected to be the largest ever. The defense budget has increased for the seventh year straight on an initial budget basis since fiscal 2013. The amount may increase further before the compilation of a budget scheduled at the end of the year due to the U.S.-led plan to form a coalition of the willing to ensure safety in the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East.


The amount of the 2020 budgetary request will be roughly 50 billion yen more than the fiscal 2019 initial budget, which stood at a record 5.2574 trillion yen. The 2020 budget will be allocated to strengthening the defense capabilities in new domains, such as outer space and cyber space. It also includes the cost of procuring cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighters and other equipment from the U.S.


The cost of introducing the Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system, which the MOD aims to deploy to Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures, will not include the cost to develop sites and build deck houses as they require coordination with local municipalities. The MOD will request budgetary items without specifying their prices. It will estimate the budget amount after the final decision on the Aegis deployment sites.


In the midterm defense buildup plan for the fiscal years from 2019 to 2023 finalized at the end of 2018, the MOD set the estimated total budget for five years at 27.47 trillion yen, excluding the costs of realigning U.S. forces stationed in Japan. The ministry also increased the average annual growth in defense spending from 0.8% recorded for the previous five years to 1%. Japan’s “expenditures for future fiscal years,” in which Japan pays for equipment over several years, are increasing every year.


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