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Japan adds USD6.8 billion to 2021 defence budget

Japan's defence budget for fiscal year 2021 has received a boost of USD6.8 billion. However the country's military expenditure is now forecast by Janes to decline in 2022. (Janes Defence Budgets)

The government of Japan has approved a supplementary defence budget of JPY773.8 billion (USD6.8 billion) for fiscal year (FY) 2021.

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on 26 November that the additional expenditure is required to boost Japan Self-Defense Forces' (JSDF) capability in response to escalating security risks in the Indo-Pacific.

The supplementary budget – referenced by the MoD as a ‘defence-strengthening acceleration package' – is in addition to Japan's FY 2021 defence budget of JPY5.34 trillion.

The combined expenditure takes Japan's defence expenditure for the fiscal year, which runs April–March, to more than JPY6 trillion for the first time.

Budgetary documents issued by the MoD show that more than half of the supplementary budget is aimed at supporting the national defence industry.

The funding allocates JPY428.7 billion – 55% of the expenditure – for advance procurement payments to local defence firms as part of efforts to reduce repayments on loans. The MoD said the funding is a response to Covid-19 and resultant financial difficulties.

In terms of JSDF assets, the FY 2021 supplementary budget includes JPY9.78 billion to enhance missile defence, JPY8.25 billion to strengthen maritime patrol, JPY61.9 billion for mobility, and JPY3.95 billion for the procurement of missiles and other munitions.

These expenditures contain funding for new Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors; three additional Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft; a Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft; Mitsubishi AAM-4/5B air-to-air missiles; Mitsubishi Type 12 and Type 18 torpedoes; and 13 Subaru UH-2 multirole helicopters.

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