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Japan to request U.S. improve management of military sales program

12 Comments

Japan and 10 other countries are set to request the United States improve the management of its military equipment sales program after delivery delays and the slow return of excess payments, government sources recently said.

Worried about deployment plans being affected by the current operation of the Foreign Military Sales program, the Japanese Defense Ministry has sought to first tackle the issue of its inability to confirm whether a delivery has been shipped due to documentation issues.

Eventually, it also plans to bring up the issue of pricing, which some have criticized as lacking transparency.

Under the FMS program, the United States sells to its allies the country's latest military equipment, including fighter jets. The purchasing countries make payments based on estimates provided by the United States and the excess is returned.

The use of the U.S. program has been blamed as a reason for Japan's ballooning defense expenses, which hit a record high 701.3 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in fiscal 2019 ending this March.

As of the end of fiscal 2018, there were 132 cases of non-deliveries totaling 32.6 billion yen and 263 cases of unreturned excess payments worth 49.3 billion yen, and Japan's Board of Audit has repeatedly asked the Defense Ministry to address the issues.

Last year, the ministry proposed setting up in Washington a working group among defense attaches of impacted countries to address their issues with the U.S. system. Among the countries that agreed were Australia, South Korea, Canada and Belgium.

Japan has been utilizing the program with an eye on the deteriorating security environment, including countering North Korea's repeated firing of ballistic missiles. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been vocal in his ambition to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, has been promoting military exports.

Through the FMS program, Japan is obtaining 147 F-35 fighter jets that each cost 10 billion yen.

Data by the Board of Audit showed Japan's FMS spending ranked third after Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the U.S. fiscal year that ended in September 2017.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Just don't buy arms from the US. Or anywhere else. Spend the money on making friends instead!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

 Spend the money on making friends instead!

It didn't work!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

What has been going on in regard to arms sales is part of the larger problem with the current administration in the White House. He is much more concerned with surrounding himself with fawning loyalists than he is with appointing competent assistants.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan wanting transparity?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The world is desperately trying to avoid mass deaths from COVID19 and this is what they are concerned about these days? Japan, lets get with the program and focus more on saving the people living in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are much better, much more responsible, ways for the government to be spending taxpayer money than on US F-35s. This covid crisis proves that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just don't buy arms from the US. Or anywhere else. Spend the money on making friends instead!

The world is a dangerous place. Since the dawn of man there has always been war. In recorded history, the first war was Sumer vs. Elam in the general area around modern Basra Iraq in 2700 BC.

They are still fighting in Iraq today. There will always be weapon dealers and countries looking to cash in on human kinds biggest weakness. Declaring war. Wolf and Sheep. We can not all be sheep.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Buying weapons is an extremely lucrative activity for government officials (not only Japan, although Japan definitely surpasses most countries in the amount of the public's money it uses).

No one should expect the LDP to curtail these activities, nor have they since the days of the infamous Lockheed Scandal, which shed light on the collusion of the LDP with yakuza in using the public' money to enrich themselves in buying commercial airplanes as well as military vehicles and equipment (the Prime Minister himself was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and had to resign in disgrace).

Of course this enormous scandal has been downplayed and no one raises their voice even as the military budget continues to break records every year, while normal citizens struggle with the daily grind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

moonbloomToday  08:09 pm JST

The biggest reason for government spending in Japan is social services, especially pensions. In essence, Japan is being choked trying to pay those whose uselessness is at an end. (This is a cold way to put things but is nevertheless true).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, I agree with the sentiment of some of you by saying that it’s not realistic to not buy any arms from anybody. Because the world is a dangerous place, and has been really, for all of human history. Even since hunter gatherer days, humans have had to face a lot of dangers. it’s just ever since the dawn of civilization, it now comes from each other, instead of the prey that we try to catch in order to feed ourselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m all for providing for the needs of the people, in terms of pensions, as well as education, public transportation, and the like. But we shouldn’t be naïve in our thinking in terms of defense, no matter what country you live in. I’m just saying you can’t scrap it entirely, because there will always be people out there who would wish to do your country harm unfortunately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan and 10 other countries are set to request the United States improve the management of its military equipment sales program after delivery delays and the slow return of excess payments

As of the end of fiscal 2018, there were 132 cases of non-deliveries totaling 32.6 billion yen and 263 cases of unreturned excess payments worth 49.3 billion yen

This is ridiculous. The executives responsible for these transgressions need to be fired, and the deliveries and return of excess payments expedited. And what's up with the excess payments?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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