Home » Aviation » Cabinet Approves Record $42.1 Billion 2016 Japanese Defense Budget

Cabinet Approves Record $42.1 Billion 2016 Japanese Defense Budget

Mitsubishi F-15J. Photo by Toshi Aoki via Wikipedia

Mitsubishi F-15J. Photo by Toshi Aoki via Wikipedia

The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has approved a record $42.1 billion 2016 defense budget largely seen as a response to China’s rapidly expanding military, particularly the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The record high spending plan will further expand Japan’s power projection tools, confirms equipment buys that boost cooperation with forward deployed U.S. units.

“We believe the budget includes items that would contribute to enhancing Japan-U.S. cooperation in the area of ISR (information, surveillance and reconnaissance),” Defense Ministry official Tomoki Matsuo said according to The Associated Press.

The new budget includes aviation buys for six Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters for, four Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, 17 Mitsubishi SH-60K helicopters, the start of a multi-year procurement of three Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Boeing KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker, according to an October overview of the budget request.

Undated photo of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force submarine Soryu (SS-501)

Undated photo of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force submarine Soryu (SS-501)

On the maritime front, the budget pays for the acquisition of a new Aegis capable guided missile destroyer and 12th domestically built Soryu-class diesel electric attack submarine (SSK).

The budget also includes a variety of upgrades for ships and aircraft, munitions purchases and funds to assist in relocating Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa and moving additional Marines from the island to Guam.

Much of the new kit is oriented to protecting Japan’s Senkaku Islands on the edge of the East China Sea near Taiwan— which Japan occupies but China also claims.

Protection of the remote islands is a key tenant of the spending plan.

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The new budget is the first since the government approved sweeping changes in its defense stance in September.

“Politically, Abe’s security agenda is designed to get Japan more involved in the world, and more capable of being a partner operating with the United States,” wrote USNI News contributor Kyle Mizokami in August.
“Japan’s de facto military, the Self-Defense Forces, would be able to reciprocate American efforts to defend Japan. Abe is also concentrating on increasing SDF interoperability with U.S. forces.”

In line with the legislative changes, much of the new defense material Japan is planning to buy can share high-level intelligence and targeting data with forward deployed U.S. forces as part of the emerging Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air concept (NIFC-CA pronounced: nifk-kah).

An artist's concept of the planned Japanese 27DD guided missile destroyer. Image via Navy Recognition

An artist’s concept of the planned Japanese 27DD guided missile destroyer. Image via Navy Recognition

For its part, Beijing has been critical of the defense plus-up in several public statements that contain not-so-subtle references to Imperial Japan’s military actions during World War II.

“Due to historical reasons, Japan’s policy moves in the field of military and security have been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said in a Thursday statement.
“We hope that the Japanese side would take history as a mirror, stick to the path of peaceful development, and make constructive efforts for regional peace and stability.”

  • tpuhinesor

    Miscellaneous ruminations:
    1-Why weren’t the older carriers offered to Japan, and maybe to S. Korea, instead of paying the breakers in the USA 1 cent to get the carriers out of sight and mind?
    2-The ONI report on the current Soviet Union military strength is interesting reading because of the numerous times it feels use of nuclear weapons and WMD are okay in any instance it might feel their external sphere of influence is threatened. We all know there are no longer stupid people like Bonaparte and Hitler who would want to invade the USSR – one hopes! So, why so many tanks?
    3-Why are the LCS home ported in San Diego when their need will be in Asia and by the time It would take to steam them to the Spratley Islands, it would be too little and too late? I wouldn’t base them in the Philippines as I don’t think they are worthy friends of ours any more; Perhaps Vietnam would be better. Strange bed fellows!
    4-Why are there 5 Nimitz class carriers at dock in Norfolk? Whoever was responsible for tasking these carriers overseas, consistent with their upkeep, didn’t do a very good job and it seems a bit stupid to have a Pearl Harbor event at Norfolk. And, what happened to the crews of these 5 carriers? Why did we shut down the ENTERPRISE when I am sure that she could fulfill many more overseas rotations.
    5-There are reports Canada will take up to 30,000 Syrian refugees and what will prevent the included terrorists from slipping across the undefended border to wreck havoc on us?
    6-What does the army do when they don’t have wars to fight? The army camps should be closed down for a while and all of these men and women should police our southern borders and stop the illegals from gaining entrance to the USA. It may also mean, due to Canada’s ignorance, that the our northern border will need to be policed.
    7-Since JFK already had a non-nuclear carrier named after him, whey is he getting his name on the second FORD class carrier. Two presidents who shouldn’t have carriers named after them are KENNEDY and CLINTON. There seems to be just too many instances of illicit sexual relations. I want a more worthy name for the second carrier as in USS OREGON! And not attach the name to a sub we will never see! OREGON deserves better! And there are reports that the second carrier might be delayed up to two years. OREGON can wait since it has waited all these years to be recognized as the most potent battleship our Navy had at the time.

    • Secundius

      @ tpuhinesor.

      Most likely reason, is that they DIDN’T want them, COULDN’T afford “Skyrocketing” Maintenance Cost, and DIDN’T have a Naval Air Force with the Exception of Land-Based Aircraft’s (Incapable of Carrier Operations) and Helicopters.

      Philippines, “Virtually” DOESN’T have a Air Force of ANY KIND. CVN-65, USS. Enterprise was 51-years old when “Decommissioned” in 2012. Safety Standard for Nuclear-Powered Ships is 50-Years.

      2nd Ford carrier CVN-79, USS. JFK
      3rd Ford carrier CVN-80, USS. Enterprise

      Virginia class: SSN-793, USS. Oregon…

    • publius_maximus_III

      4-Why are there 5 Nimitz class carriers at dock in Norfolk?

      Ask the Manchurian (ours, not China’s).

      • Secundius

        @ publius_maximus_III.

        Ask the 113 US. Congressional Congress of the 2013 Sequester. The “Manchurian” had nothing to do with it…

        • publius_maximus_III

          So….. the Manchurian didn’t agree to the budget offered by Congress to keep the Sequester from kicking in? I thought it took both the Article I and Article II branches to pass a budget.

          • Secundius

            @ publius_maximus_III.

            Everybody talk’s about Giving the Troop’s What They Want and NEED. At the Expense of Tricare, Off-Base Housing, VA. Benefits, Veteran Benefits, etc. The NEW Twenty-Fire Enlistment to Replace the Old Three-Year Enlistment. Less than 0.4% of the Population of 320-Million SERVE. Congress, unwilling to Budget Anything, INCLUDING THOSE WHO SERVE…

          • publius_maximus_III

            I know. The finest of the fine, that 0.4%, and yet we treat them like second class citizens. More than once, my wife or I have treated a GI in uniform and his family to a meal at a restaurant. Peanuts for what they do for us.

    • PolicyWonk

      1, Japan’s laws forbids them from owning aircraft carriers. This is why they’ve had to build “helicopter destroyers” instead of standard carriers.
      2. Russia likes tanks, and they’ve always been paranoid w/r/t the potential for another invasion. Also take note of the various nations that used to be part of the USSR and are now independent, and who’s running the show in Russia.
      3. Why should LCS be ported in San Diego? Excellent question. LCS shouldn’t be ported anywhere, because they represent corporate welfare at its worst, and never will have the teeth or defensive capabilities required to make them really useful. And, given the ROI, are horrifyingly expensive.

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  • publius_maximus_III

    A good ally to have, especially in the South China Sea. I like that F15-J giant flower roundel — make love, not war. Note: the imperial chrysanthemum seal is yellow, and has more flower petals.

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  • tpuhinesor

    Yes, the Japanese cabinet approved record $42.1 billion 2016 Japanese Defense Budget: however, I quote from the blurb: “The record high spending plan will further expand Japan’s power projection tools, confirms equipment buys that boost cooperation with forward deployed U.S. units.” I read that to mean if the REAGAN gets involved in a shooting war with PLAN-PLAAF-PLA, we might be able to count on Japanese support. The budget calls for four Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. 3 “Global Hawks” and a “air refueling tanker”. Also, they are getting six F-35A Lighting II JSF. No reason that they won’t get the USMC variation for their “Destroyer Carrier”.
    Also, the budget pays for a new Aegis capable guided missile destroyer.
    Do not believe all this money is being spent to provide in-country support of Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. Regarding our older carriers, do not believe any fool would spend 13-15 billion dollars to build a FORD class carrier, other than the USN. The cost to rehab an older carrier given away to the breakers would be peanuts compared to buying a FORD class carrier. Just because the ENTERPRISE is a bit over 50 years old, I have to bring up the USAF keeps 50+ year old B-52’s up and running. Even so, I’d rather risk a ride on the ENTERPRISE than in a B-52.
    There is no reason why the Japanese can not technically rotate from defense to offense. If the Philippines need help, we probably have a stock of WW II C-rations we can give them. They shouldn’t be depended upon for anything. If we wanted to base the LCS ships at Subic Bay, we’d be taken down the primrose path for millions of dollars for the honor of basing a few LCS ships.
    Regarding the Soviet Union: Have not seen any comments in the news regarding their downing of a civilian KAL 747, killing all aboard, a number of years ago on their east coast.
    Don’t recall much being said lately about shooting down the Malaysian 777 over the eastern part of the Ukraine which had been invaded by Soviet military in civvies. Kind of hard to take a Ukrainian farmer and teach him how to zero in on a commercial airliner with a Soviet missile. So, I have no sorrow to give for the Russian civilian airliner blown out of the sky leaving Egypt for home.

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