WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support the news you rely on from NHPR and NPR with a gift today!
NPR Blogs

Japanese Leaders Back Major Defense Buildup

In this Dec. 5, 2010 file photo released by U.S. Navy, USNS Tippecanoe, center, refuels Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Escort Flotilla ships Ikazuchi, right, and Kongo during a joint military exercise in the Pacific Ocean.
In this Dec. 5, 2010 file photo released by U.S. Navy, USNS Tippecanoe, center, refuels Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Escort Flotilla ships Ikazuchi, right, and Kongo during a joint military exercise in the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's cabinet has approved a large defense buildup plan that includes the purchase of new drones, stealth aircraft and amphibious vehicles in what is widely viewed as a response to China's growing military might and a tense standoff over disputed islands claimed by both countries.

Reuters reports:

"The planned 2.6 percent increase over five years, announced on Tuesday, reverses a decade of decline and marks the clearest sign since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office a year ago that he wants a bigger military role for Japan as tension flares with China over islands they both claim."

Voice of America adds:

"The five-year budget earmarks more than $230 billion for fighter jets, combat and amphibious vehicles, as well as surveillance drones and early warning aircraft.

"The national security strategy is Japan's first since it formed a U.S.-style National Security Council to streamline defense policy.

"It centers on Japan's southwest where Beijing is increasingly aggressive in a dispute over ownership of the Japan-administered Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China."

The BBC quotes from a Japanese national security document that it says has informed the increased military spending. It reads:

"China's stance toward other countries and military moves, coupled with a lack of transparency regarding its military and national security policies, represent a concern to Japan and the wider international community and require close watch."

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy on Monday takes a look at the rapidly expanding Chinese navy, which in addition to a new high-profile aircraft carrier has seen a steady influx of new patrol ships, destroyers and amphibious ships.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.