Japan will modify its weapons purchase strategy and defense policy by the end of this year, according to press reports citing prime minister Shinzo Abe’s need of dealing with the tensioned relationship between Japan and its neighbors.
Abe is willing to increase the defense spending and make it easier for the army to hire new personnel, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
In the fiscal year ending in March, Japan’s defense budget decreased for the 10th consecutive year, to Y4.6 trillion ($53 billion), constrained by the nation’s huge public debt.
According to the cited source, Abe plans to boost Japan’s defense budget by more than Y100 billion for the next fiscal year. It would be the first rise in 11 years and it would mainly be directed at funding fuel and repair costs for patrol planes and research on radar technology.
Japan is having tensed relations with China and both North and South Korea. China has been boldly raising its defense spending in the last years.