Tokyo, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Defense Ministry plans to increase the number of staff at its Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency in order to enhance research and development for cutting-edge technologies, informed sources said Friday.
The plan to increase the number of ATLA staff by over 100 from 1,820 at present will be included in the ministry’s budget request for fiscal 2022, which starts next April.
The ATLA had a staff of 1,780 when it was established in October 2015. Currently, it has 1,414 administrative workers and engineers and 406 Self-Defense Forces members. The ministry plans to continue to increase the number of ATLA staff in fiscal 2023 and beyond.
The ministry will also seek about 300 billion yen for research and development expenditures, up from 142 billion yen in fiscal 2015 and 211.6 billion yen in fiscal 2021.
The ministry’s plan comes as Japan lags far behind the United States, China and Russia in terms of labor and budget for defense technology development.
In May, defense and security officials at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party called for beefing up the country’s defense technology development capabilities.