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Japan's Ministry of Defense to request record budget for 2019

Staff Writer | August 23, 2018
Japan's Ministry of Defense will ask for an unprecedented budget for the coming fiscal year to strengthen the country's capacity against alleged missile attacks, local media reported.
Japan army
Asia   The ministry will seek about $48 billion
According to officials quoted by the NHK broadcasting, the ministry will seek about 5.29 trillion yen, or about $48 billion, and part of that amount will be used to purchase two units of the U.S.-made Aegis Ashore ground missile defense system.

It is also planned to purchase additional F-35A fighter jets and to introduce a new type of missile interceptor called SM-3 Block IIA on Aegis aircraft.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the new system will help improve Japan's response to possible ballistic missile attacks by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

However, tensions on the Korean peninsula have eased since the beginning of this year to such an extent that the Japanese reported earlier this month that they would withdraw anti-missile units from the northern and western regions of the country.

At that time, the Japanese authorities stated that after the summit between US President Donald Trump and DPRK President Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore, Pyongyang was less likely to launch ballistic missiles.

The DPRK has developed a nuclear military program with a defensive and deterrent character against threats from the United States and its allies.

Japan, for its part, does not have a Constitution which provides for warlike confrontations as a means of resolving international disputes, and therefore the creation of an army with great military potential is prohibited, and only has the so-called Self-Defense Forces.

However, in 2014, the government reinterpreted the rule by giving the Self-Defense Forces the green light to participate in conflicts in countries allied to Japan.