The Defense Ministry will request a record 5.091 trillion yen ($41 billion) for fiscal 2016 to counter Chinese maritime advances, sources said.
Tilt-rotor transport aircraft and amphibious vehicles are on the menu to strengthen surveillance capabilities by the Self-Defense Forces and bolster the defenses of outlying islands.
This marks the fourth consecutive year of a rise in the request for defense spending. The figure, which represents a 2.2 percent increase from the initial defense budget for fiscal 2015, is the second year in a row that it has exceeded 5 trillion yen.
On the list is a destroyer equipped with the Aegis system to shoot down ballistic missiles for 167.5 billion yen and three Global Hawk reconnaissance drones for 36.7 billion yen.
The requested budget also includes the cost of 12 MV-22 Ospreys at 132.1 billion yen and six F-35A stealth fighters at 103.5 billion yen. Both aircraft will be introduced to increase the SDF’s capabilities in defending remote islands.
Additionally, the budget includes costs to design a system to provide surveillance of space after cooperation in the field was included in the Japan-U.S. defense guidelines revised in April.
SOURCE: Asahi Shimbun