Japan set to increase defense budget in fiscal 2014

November 10, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The Abe administration is set to stay on course with a bigger defense budget in fiscal 2014, sources said.

The current fiscal year marked the first increase in defense spending after 10 consecutive years of decrease.

The defense budget for this fiscal year that started in April stood at 4.7538 trillion yen ($47.5 billion), up 0.8 percent from last fiscal year.

The Defense Ministry is seeking to increase the budget for the next fiscal year to 4.8928 trillion yen, up 2.9 percent from this fiscal year, sources said Nov. 9.

The ministry is pushing for the increase mainly to purchase more amphibious vehicles or repair transportation vessels used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Amphibious vehicles are viewed as essential to regaining occupied islands in the event of an attack.

The Finance Ministry has called on all branches of the government to scale back their budgetary requests. However, the defense budget is almost certain to win approval.

The government plans to draw up its "basic defense program" and "mid-term defense program" by the end of December.

Under those programs, the government is expected to describe measures for strengthening of Japan's defense capabilities. This will include the introduction of Osprey aircraft now used by the U.S. military.

(This article was written by Hirobumi Ohinata and Koji Sonoda.)

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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The Defense Ministry shows off its new lightweight wheeled tank-like vehicle in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Oct. 9. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Defense Ministry shows off its new lightweight wheeled tank-like vehicle in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Oct. 9. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • The Defense Ministry shows off its new lightweight wheeled tank-like vehicle in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Oct. 9. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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