Japan will double spending on its military, as fears grow over China’s military expansionism. It will spend $6.75 billion in fiscal 2019, a 12.9 percent rise.
Along with the increase in military spending, Japan’s plan to bring its force strength back to its 1990s level of 600,000 will be sped up.
China is offering double the amount of defence spending than last year to its armed forces. The government of Shinzo Abe has long complained about the disparity. Prime Minister Abe said in February, “The increase in China’s defence spending is on the rise … China’s size of their military is increasing by leaps and bounds, and the quantum of their efforts is increasing as well.” He added, “No matter which country you talk to about China’s military activities, they all talk about, not only the frequency, but the sophistication of the exercises, the types of weapons, the numbers of personnel and the upgrades in technology that they have.”
This doesn’t mean that Japan will necessarily be caught on the wrong side of China. China recently sent navy ships to waters off Taiwan, just as China had ordered the same fleet off South Korea at the same time. Indeed, in August, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a fleet of ships to patrol Japanese waters off the Western Pacific.
Japan’s plan will also include a threefold increase in spending on submarines, fighter jets and anti-submarine warfare planes.