politics

Defense ministry asks for record budget to defend southern islands

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Sure, there's plenty of cash to burn.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

About time. Too bad Japan still teaches garbage about the war to its children.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ah good old uncle Abe, helping the US economy at a time of need!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"It also wants three Global Hawk drones, six hi-tech F-35 stealth fighters and 12 V-22 Osprey—"

This makes it sound like a wish list. Five Ospreys have already been ordered in July.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Unfortunately if it's not spent China or Russia will and dominate. Great example is Vietnam. And the Vietnamese has what territorial waters?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Time for the usual narrative fallacies. Here’s mine. While the US has been off spending trillions policing nations that don’t want its police force, and while Japan has continued to do things the Japanese way - keeping the same people running business and government, keeping outdated models of both in place, keeping an outdated educational model in place - China has finland-ized large swaths of the Indian and Pacific Ocean sphere, leaving Japan to play catch-up and pick up a few leftover orts. Sadly the catch-up looks like it’s going to be of greatest benefit to the US military-industrial-academic complex.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan is like a pitiful old man who lives next door to an aggressive and vital young neighbor who is flashy with his newfound wealth. No money, anemic economic growth. Still defense budget has to go up. Reminiscent of Soviet Union spending its way to bankruptcy.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

$42bn is only the number released to the public. It's widely known that the SDF is the second highest funded military operation in the world, behind the US. Both countries have 'black budgets' that allow them to conceal operations that they deem too sensitive to detail in their annual budgets.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I don't think that there's much of a choice here. The money has to be spent. The Philippines is asking for help from the US Navy (kicking them out of Subic Bay may have been a bad move...) to patrol the area. Unfortunately, many things don't become newsworthy until it comes up and hits someone on the head. The countries in that area are now getting hit on the head and feeling it. It will only be a matter of time before we start feeling it here in Japan. As a matter of fact, many of the Japanese fishermen in the southern islands are already feeling it. Many of them are saying that they are too scared to go out to the southern fishing grounds.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"with an eye on a possible escalation of tensions with China." By whom? Abe?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

sighclopsSep. 01, 2015 - 08:19AM JST

What are you smoking?

There is no black budget for the ministery of defense. There could be some dual usage possiblity but very small amount.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Really? "...... 12 V-22 Osprey—crossover aircraft"

And I always thought those aircrafts were considered dangerous over here in Japan.

Didn't we have protests down in Okinawa some time ago?

But if Abe wants it, he will get it. Build-up of military power all over the world. Where will this take "us"?

And again, consider all this money being spent for education, welfare, Fukushima (sorry to mention this again) and so on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He is also pushing to tweak Japan’s pacifist constitution...

Yes, to make it a non-pacifist constitution. Quite a tweak.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Pity Fukushima is not located somewhere south, all those folks still living in prefab housing would love some of this "assistance."

5 ( +5 / -0 )

FarmboySep. 01, 2015 - 09:55AM JST "He is also pushing to tweak Japan’s pacifist constitution..." Yes, to make it a non-pacifist constitution. Quite a tweak.

In other words a "normal constitution" like every other country.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

@Triring

What are you smoking? There is no black budget for the ministery of defense. There could be some dual usage possiblity but very small amount.

Let's just say that I know so much about the inner workings of this country that I often scare myself. Years upon years of network building. Japan passed a security bill towards the end of last year, correct? That's just an extra layer in the smoke screening here. Every country has a 'hidden' military budget - disclosing just how much is entirely at their discretion.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In other words a "normal constitution" like every other country.

What's the definition of this magical "normal constitution" common to nearly 200 countries on our planet?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's widely known that the SDF is the second highest funded military operation in the world, behind the US.

Widely known by who? Sources please. Also, assuming there is a black budget and it accounts for any appreciable percentage of defense spending, you'd need to figure in any black budgets of the countries you're comparing Japan to.

Or you could just go with a proper source. Here's mine.

The published military budget of Japan for 2015 was 4.98 trillion yen (approximately US$42 billion, and roughly 1% of Japanese GDP), a rise of 2.8 percent on the previous year.[1] On the 31st of August, 2015, the Japanese defence ministry requested a military budget of 5.1 trillion yen for the 2016 financial year, a rise of 2.2% on the 2015 budget. If approved, this increase would raise Japanese military spending to it highest level in Japan's modern history, although still leaving it in 7th place in terms of military spending world-wide, behind its regional neighbour China.[2] (wiki)

Not even close to the second highest.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think he should also be asking for lots of cash to invade the lost Northern Territories. with Russia an international pariah now's the time!!!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

In other words a "normal constitution" like every other country.

It's normal, in countries that have a constitution, that the people support the constitution, and that it reflects their values. This constitution has had the support of the Japanese people for many years, so changing the interpretation of it should be done with the people's support, not behind their back.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's normal, in countries that have a constitution, that the people support the constitution, and that it reflects their values. This constitution has had the support of the Japanese people for many years, so changing the interpretation of it should be done with the people's support, not behind their back.

How is it being done behind their back? Did Abe's government not win re-election after it was made clear that he intended to change the constitution?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

How is it being done behind their back? Did Abe's government not win re-election after it was made clear that he intended to change the constitution?

Abe called a snap re-election two years in advance and at great taxpayer expense to exploit voter apathy and the lack of any effective opposition in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Classy

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The ministry wants 5.09 trillion yen ($42 billion) for the next fiscal year, with the focus on strengthening protection of a string of southern islands that stretch from Japan’s mainland to waters near Taiwan.

And if Tokyo was in the line they would call it so.....show a little respect for the JAPANESE people who live in that "string of southern islands that stretch from Japan's mainland", they have names.

To the uninformed it makes it sound like there is nothing there but a bunch of islands, maybe inferring uninhabited, but literally well over a million people live down there, give them their due respect!

Better to say to defend the Ryukyu Island chain!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Am in total agreement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How is it being done behind their back? Did Abe's government not win re-election after it was made clear that he intended to change the constitution?

He has NOT changed the constitution because that won't get passed. There is no support for it. What he is doing is trying to reinterpret what's there to mean something different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's record spending for everything, again, this year... Last fiscal year, tax revenues were up a bit thanks to increased consumption tax revenues as expected, and higher tax revenues from income and corporate taxes. A total of 53.97 trillion yen was sucked out of the economy by the government, versus the 51.73 trillion budgeted for.

But they want to spend 10% of this on defense!!

They also want to spend 60% of it on social security!!

They also NEED to spend 50% of it on servicing the quadrillion yen of outstanding debt that they have racked up!

That's 120% of tax revenues right there. What about roads? School teachers? Other stuff?

This government's spending is completely out of control. All the flash military boats in the world aren't going to be much use if you can't afford to crew them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It will be much cheaper and friendlier if Abe spends $42B on Ferrari 458 spiders and keep 1/2 for Japanese young people and 1/4 to Chinese and 1/4 to Korean. Japan will make permanent peace with it's hated enemies. And Japan can sell all Toyotas, Hondas, Nikon and Canon cameras to Chinese and Koreans. We see many Chinese tourists in the states walking around with Japanese cameras. Do you remember old joke: can you tell Japanese from Koreans? The answer is "Japanese carry cameras" Now it's Chinese tourists all over the country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I seem to remember, when thge case was made to increase the amount of tax we pay on everything we buy, that the revenue was needed to service the debt "We have to get the debt under control" they said.

I don't recall being asked to stump up so Abe can get his chickenhawk wet dreams off the ground.

Giving this government more tax revenue is like lending your bank card and PIN to a crystal meth addict.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It was coming and rightfully so at about this time.

Any changes in any infrastructure and operation, require funding. Any upgrade in outdated military armaments require more funding, first to get the new and second to retire the old with out losing effective security coverage. However, one must always be aware that to maintain old and inefficient infrastructure, equipment and armaments, very often cost more than the acquisition of the new and maintaining the new.

The problem is NOT Abe or the political party he represents. The problem is current reality that require such investment for the security of this country. The real expenditure in today's Yen may not be so much as that was spent twenty or even ten years ago.

The real problem here is that the media and the public are either unaware or uninformed about the real "reason" why such upgrades and expenditures are needed and in such a short span of time. There may be a hidden and undisclosed reason why the current government must "push" for all this at a time of such opposition.

That is what those opposing the various moves made, must first reasonably and rationally consider without political or idealistic orientation.

I personally read the situation to be "critical" for Japan. Both N & S Korea demonstrated that so recently. They have in effect "united" in spite of their differences. Countries like Thailand, Philippines, and even Malaysia are "asking" Japan to be a part of their ability to defend themselves, either by technology and expertise or by supplying materials needed for their defense. That is because obviously the USA is no longer playing a direct role in assisting them.

They have been in effect abandoned at least it appears on the surface along with Japan and the two Koreas. When the President of the USA says one must defend their own country, while saying USA will always be an ally, really puts any ally of the USA at unease. That is especially so when Israel, the closest nation to the USA other than England is left alone to defend for themselves.

The funding with or without opposition may pass. The opposition, other than for their political and party pride may need to agree. At least at this point, those in other parties do not have ALL the information that Abe has that required him to make such decisions. If the parties were reversed, the results may still be the same.

So the current motives by other parties to join and oppose Abe and his party may be a good political ploy, looking so idealistic and honorable, but that may be just for show to keep their party strong (so they won't lose their personal powers and wealth) and to create an image of being so righteous. Such is politics. Something similar is happening all over the world, including the USA.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Security for Japan & its people is of utmost importance against very aggressive neighbors that are threatening. Yes, increase the budget of the JSDF. Japan's Economy and external trade are very much dependent on its Security. If Japan wants to continue being a promising country, then belief in the concept: "Rich Country Strong Military (Fukokei Koyeh)".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And when the economy is in the doldrums and the economy is stagnant than add a tax hike, and a growing trade deficit with large oil imports, and less exports, yes lets spend on ships and stuff we really don't need but its going to add to the imbalance in the GDP. My late farther told me "if you can't afford it don't buy it" what a wise man he was!.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The sooner Japan starts constructing an oceanic institute on the Senkaku islands, and an established military presence to protect it, the better. Its that or hurry up and hand the islands over to China along with the rest of everything that Russia or Korea do not want. Silly to tinker with Article 9 and military budgets but fail to effectively assert national boundaries in the face of tyrannical states.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Most of the defense budget increase will be used to purchase US made weapons. A field day for American defense industry.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Most of the defense budget increase will be used to purchase US made weapons. A field day for American defense industry.

Thus the increase in budget since the yen had depreciated against the dollar making the equipment placed for requisition more expensive based in yen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just build lighthouses on each one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ahhh where the sales tax increase is really going (that and Olympic facility constuction).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Won't be hard to take over the islands once Japan has bankrupted itself and has no one to run the ships -- which is what they seem hellbent on. Meanwhile, who cares about the stuff like education not even factored in to the already 120% spending of the taxes... I think they are setting this up in part intentionally so that they can say, again, that they have no choice but to further raise taxes next year when the inevitable backlash comes along with the proof that the previous increase has done nothing but drive the economy down (even though next year's increase is decided).

Good job on priorities again, Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Most of the defense budget increase will be used to purchase US made weapons. A field day for American defense industry.

And you know this how? It has been widely advertised that Abe intends to sell Japanese military hardware and technology overseas. Japan has developed and maintains it's very own defense industry and much of the military hardware that does get purchased from America is adapted or changed to Japanese needs.

Japan pretty much builds it's own ships, it's own trucks and other mobile equipment, buys jets from America but adapts them and modifies them here, builds their own submarines, hand held weapons, rifles, etc.

Just what does Japan "purchase" hardware wise from America?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let take a deep breath before any long term expenditure commitments, the markets have continued there free fall. Europe is flowing red......Apac first

Nikkei 225 -3.84% 18,165.69 -696.98.......Hong Kong Hang Seng -2.22% 21,188.81 -471.06..........London FTSE 100 -3.07% 6,056.32 -185.74.............Germany DAX -2.84% 9,967.58 -283.58

Updated: 9:04am ET Key Stats

10-year yield 2.16% -1.77%.... Oil $47.01 -4.45%.....Yen ¥119.67 -1.57..... Euro $1.13 +0.45.....Gold $1,140.30 +0.69%

Updated: 9:19am ET

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just what does Japan "purchase" hardware wise from America?

Erm. Ospreys?

"Protection?"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just what does Japan "purchase" hardware wise from America?

According to the Washington Times, the purchases include "46 U.S. F-35 jet fighters, two Aegis-equipped destroyers, the modernization and growth of the underwater force from 16 to 22 submarines, and the upgrade of missile defenses."

There will also be more drones, and the possibility of space-based assets. A few more purchases previously agreed to are here: http://www.businessinsider.com/vehicles-japan-is-purchasing-to-counter-china-2014-11

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Farmboy

Are you telling us that Japan will purchase its own Oyashio submarines from the US???

And the destroyers as such will not be purchased from the US; Japan builds its own ships entirely. What will be acquired is the Aegis system, not the ships.

The latest SM-3 Block IIA was co-developed by the US and Japan

Just to clarify a bit as you seemed a tad confused here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ospreys

Did you read the part about jets? That includes airplanes. The assumption being made is that the budget is going to feed the US gov. That is blatantly false.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Osprey will still be cheaper than the aging Ch-46 and CH-47 who got half the range lower speed and need more maintenance due to their age.

Japanese might decide to employ seahawks/blackhawks who are newer and can fulfill more roles than the aging Chinooks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Peeping Tom,

Yes, you're right. Here's the article I didn't read carefully enough:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/16/japan-builds-military-forces-counter-chinese-threa/?page=all

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Interesting... the budget is one thing, and what it is being used for is another. The third part was "why".

Anyone there with enough clear and relative information to not justify as much as the effective need for the rather sudden and large expenditure for the military. The military exercises which take place annually help to reduce old ordinance took place this year with some news coverage due to the accident. So we all know that regular resupply has been occurring.

The why I would like someone to explain is... the changes to the constitution and the new military expenditure NOW and with such urgency?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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