Japan to spend more on missile defense with tightening budget
Japan plans to increase expenditures on missile defense in the next fiscal year

Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2005

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Japan plans to increase expenditures on missile defense in the next fiscal year, though its overall defense budget will be cut by 0.9 percent to 4.8137 trillion yen ( around 41.35 billion US dollars) in fiscal 2006.

According to a draft budget proposed by the Finance Ministry on Tuesday, 139.9 billion yen (about 1.20 billion dollars) will be spent on ballistic missile defense on a contract basis, up from 119.8 billion yen (about 1.03 billion dollars).

In the meantime, the total defense budget for fiscal 2006 will shrink by 42.7 billion yen (about 366.78 million dollars) from the initial budget for fiscal 2005.

"Under the tight overall fiscal budget, I think the defense budget has been allotted rather substantial amounts for ballistic missile defense and other new fields, as well as for SDF [Self- Defense Force] activities including training and maintenance," Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga said Tuesday.

The Finance Ministry proposed reduction in cost for tanks and equipment to upgrade F-15 fighter jets and number of Ground SDF. Meanwhile, according to Kyodo News, the draft budget suggests rising expense to enable the SDF with capabilities for nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, and sonar to detect submarines and armed espionage vessels.

Japan plans to spend 18.9 billion yen (about 162.34 million dollars) to deploy a ground-based radar system for detecting missiles, 68.5 billion yen (about 588.39 million dollars) to upgrade the Patriot interceptor system and 10.1 billion yen (about 86.75 million dollars) for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 surface- to-air guided missiles.

Besides, 3 billion yen (about 25.77 million dollars) will be spent for Japan-US joint development of an advanced model of the sea-based Standard Missile 3 interceptor to begin fiscal 2006.

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