Japan

For the fiscal year 2016, Defence-related expenses are predicted to amount to Y4.82 Trillion (US $44.2 billion) overall. More specifically, the budget includes Personnel & provisions expenses, at about Y2.15 Trillion, Obligatory outlay expenses, at some Y1.72 Trillion, and Future obligations concerning new contracts, at some Y2.08 Trillion. Also, the funds allocated for General Material Expenses have been raised by 0.3% (compared to FY2015), to some Y994.8 billion.

Japan’s Defence Administration consists of the Ministry of Defence –MoD- (administrative role) and the Self-Defence Force –SDF- (managerial and operational role), while the Japanese Armed Forces include the Ground (GSDF), Maritime (MSDF), and Air Self Defence Forces (ASDF). The regular SDF personnel at the end of 2016, has been predicted to be about 250,000 people.

Nowadays, there is an increasingly complex security environment, not only due to the international terrorism escalation, the appearance of ‘hybrid warfare’ and its difficulty to identify, as well as the increasing number of cyber-attacks, but also due to the expanded interdependence among countries and the rapid advances in technological innovations. Demand for natural resources, energy and food may also operate as destabilizing factors in the international community, which could also affect Japan.
 
In the Asia-Pacific region, the increased power of various countries, including China, creates a feeling of instability in the area. China has increased asymmetrically its military capabilities in the last few years, in the fear of military activity by others in the region. The fact that there are ‘grey zones’ in the area that create long-standing disputes between the two countries (Japan and China), escalate tension.  Accordingly, the military-focused North Korea and the development, deployment, transfer and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), as well as ballistic missiles, create nervousness worldwide. At the northwest, despite the severe economic problems due to the falling crude oil prices, Russia continues to increase its defence spending, with a particular priority placed on its nuclear force. Within this context, the international community has called Japan to assist through bilateral and multilateral channels, towards peace keeping, maritime security, humanitarian and disaster relief. In terms of improving the security environment surrounding Japan, and preventing the emergent threats worldwide, Japan has recognized the importance of possessing defence capabilities, both as a member of the Asia-Paci¬fic region and the international community, and has invested its utmost efforts in various related areas.

In light of these events, it is essential for Japan to respond promptly to the current situation and reinforce its defence readiness. Since 2012, defence-related expenditures have increased significantly. However, Japan has managed to maintain a quite ‘stable’ ratio of 1% of the GDP spending for military expenditure.

According to the Ministry of Finance of Japan, the National Defence Budget for 2016, will be increased by 1.5%. The new budget will be allocated to the different armed forces branches, as indicated in the chart below.

*Ground Forces (GSDF)
*Maritime Forces(MSDF)
*Air Self Defence Forces (ASDF)

 

For the fiscal year 2016, Defence-related expenses are predicted to amount to Y4.82 Trillion (US $44.2 billion) overall. More specifically, the budget includes Personnel & provisions expenses, at about Y2.15 Trillion, Obligatory outlay expenses, at some Y1.72 Trillion, and Future obligations concerning new contracts, at some Y2.08 Trillion. Also, the funds allocated for General Material Expenses have been raised by 0.3% (compared to FY2015), to some Y994.8 billion.

In a different analysis, 43% of the budget is to be allocated to Maintenance, 41% to Base Measures, 3.6% to Facility Improvements and 2.8% to Research & Development.

In terms of defence procurements, Japan has planned to spend Y375.6 Billion (US 3.48 Billion in current dollars) on aircraft, Y256.8 Billion (US $2.38 Billion) on Naval Vessels, and Y41.3 Billion (US $382.4 million) on Missiles.

It should be mentioned that the budget for FY2016 includes the continuation of already existing projects, such as the development of the new patrol helicopters, the joint development of new utility helicopters to succeed the existing UH-1J and the further funding to universities and research institutes (Y37.9 Billion) for related programmes. Moreover, new major R&D programs will take place, including the development of a Variable Depth Sonar system (Y8.5 Billion), research on the long-range naval gun ammunition technology for fire support (Y2.2 Billion), research on night-vision sensor technologies (Y1.7 Billion) and environment recognition enhancement technology for remotely-driven vehicles (Y500 million).

In respect of the current grave financial situation and in order to reduce military expenses, the “Strategy on Defense Production and Technological Bases” was formulated in 2014. The Strategy included various measures for maintaining and strengthening Japan’s defence production and technological basis, indicating the present situation and future direction of each defence equipment field. In addition, the “Innovative Science & Technology Initiative for Security” (established in FY2015), the MoD’s own funding program, is aimed at the exploitation of ‘creative’ research conducted at universities, research institutes etc.