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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Japan adds $6.75 billion to military budget in rush to bolster air and sea defenses

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government on Friday approved the outlay as part of a supplementary budget. While such additions to defense spending are common, the 774 billion yen that lawmakers will be asked to approve is the largest amount ever, according to Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

“As the security environment around Japan worsens at unprecedented speed, our urgent task is to accelerate the implementation of various projects,” the Defense Ministry said in its spending proposal.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force's F-15 fighter jets, one of the country's key defenses, fly during a review after the graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy on March 22, 2020.

The cash injection will let Japan, three months earlier than planned, upgrade surface-to-air missile launchers on islands at the edge of the East China Sea and Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries elsewhere that are the last line of defense against any incoming North Korean warheads.

China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan is causing jitters in Japan because Beijing’s control of the island would bring Chinese…

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