Saturday’s Mainichi wrote that the Defense Ministry plans to seek over 100 billion yen ($910 million) in FY2022 for the development of a new ASDF fighter that will replace the aging F-2 in the early 2030s. Lockheed-Martin and Rolls Royce will join a Japanese consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to design and manufacture the stealth jet.
Meanwhile, Asahi wrote that the GSDF has called for the Defense Ministry to seek funding in the FY2022 budget for the procurement of two vessels for ferrying trucks and tanks for remote island defense, saying that this is the first time for an SDF branch other than the MSDF to secure funds for building ships. The GSDF is hoping to allocate some 10 billion yen ($91 million) for the ships, which will eventually be operated by a “sealift command” to be launched jointly by the GSDF and MSDF.
According to Sankei, the ministry is also expected to ask the Finance Ministry to earmark funds for increasing personnel at the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency by over 100, including researchers for new defense technology, with the goal of reinforcing the foundation of the domestic defense industry, which has weakened considerably since some defense contractors have given up on doing business with the Defense Ministry due to thin profit margins.