Japan plans biggest defence spending rise in 22 years

30 August 2013
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
Japan plans to spend on tilt-rotor aircraft such as the Osprey built by Boeing and Textron’s Bell Helicopter unit

Japan plans to spend on tilt-rotor aircraft such as the Osprey built by Boeing and Textron’s Bell Helicopter unit

Japan's Defence Ministry will seek a three per cent increase in next year's budget allocation, the biggest rise in 22 years.

Most of the growth is linked to revised personnel costs and equipment imports made more expensive by a weaker yen, but the budget request for the year from April 2014 comes as Japan remains locked in a territorial spat with Chinaover uninhabited East China Sea islets, fraying ties between Asia's two biggest economies and raising security concerns.

The ministry said it planned to request 4.82tn yen (£31.68bn) in budget appropriations, up 3 per cent from the current year. The ministry's spending plans for the next fiscal year include research on unmanned high-altitude surveillance planes and tilt-rotor aircraft, with actual purchases tentatively planned for the following year.

Japan hopes that tilt-rotor aircraft such as the Osprey and drones including Northrop Grumman Corp's Global Hawk will help it better defend remote islands. The Osprey, built by Boeing and Textron’s Bell Helicopter unit, can fly as quickly as a plane but lands like a helicopter.

"In order to respond effectively to attacks on islands, it is indispensable to securely maintain superiority in the air as well as on the sea," a ministry release on the budget request said.

Saddled with hefty public debt, Japan had been cutting its defence spending in recent years, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power last December for a rare second term pledging to stand tough in the islands row, increased this year's defence budget for the first time in 11 years.

Earlier this month Japan unveiled its largest warship since the Second World War – the 250m long helicopter carrier JDS Izumo.

But following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast in March 2011, government workers' salaries were cut by 7.8 per cent on average to help finance reconstruction, and when that temporary measure is expires next March the Defence Ministry's personnel costs will be boosted by about 100bn yen for the next fiscal year.

Since Japan purchased three of the disputed islets, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner last September, patrol ships from both countries have been shadowing each other near the islands, raising fears that an unintended collision could lead to a broader clash.

Japan also faces potential threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes. The Defence Ministry plans to set aside 1.7bn yen next year to prepare for the stationing of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors at its Tokyo headquarters.

In another move to strengthen its defences, the ministry aims to set up a force of Marines as soon as possible and plans to earmark 1.5bn yen next year to introduce training facilities to improve its members' amphibious capabilities.

Japan's Coast Guard, whose ships are playing cat-and-mouse with Chinese vessels around the disputed islets, is requesting a 13 per cent increase in funding to 196.3bn yen for the next fiscal year as it builds new patrol ships and piers.

The Coast Guard aims to boost the size of its staff by 528 people, which would be the largest personnel expansion in decades. It also plans to order 10 patrol vessels.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Asset Specialist

    Affinity Water
    • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

    Responsible for updating and writing electrical engineering standards, approved codes of practice and safe systems of work

    • Recruiter: Affinity Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Circuit Card Assembly

    MBDA
    • Lostock Junction
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What’s the opportunity?   Manufacturing UK is an integral part of the Operations Directorate whose principal mission is to ensure that MBDA’s deliverable commitments are met...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Team Leader - Flank Arrays

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, Cumbria, England
    • Negotiable

    Team Leader - Flank Arrays Would you like to work in a unique role within the construction of the Astute Class submarines? We currently have a vacancy for a Team Leader - Flank Arrays at our site in Barrow-in-Furness. As a Team Leader - Flank Arrays, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics and Software Engineer

    Copley Scientific Ltd
    • Nottingham
    • circa £35,000 per annum + bonus

    Develop new test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. Good opportunities to grow and develop. Successful family-owned and managed business.

    • Recruiter: Copley Scientific Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer - Highways Technology

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Birmingham, West Midlands

    Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T