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 is an island chain in East Asia, stretched in the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Its main islands are Hokkaido, Shikoku, Honshu and Kyushu. It neighbours with China and South Korea to the west, Russia to the north and Taiwan to the south. It occupies a total area of 377,915 km2 and has a coastline of about 30,000 km. The population of Japan is about 126 million, one third of which lives in its capital Tokyo.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the country’s isolation from foreign influence allowed Japan to enjoy a long period of political stability and cultural flowering. Its industrialization only started after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US, in 1854. Until early in the 20th century, Japan was an established power in the region –occupying Korea, Taiwan (known then as Formosa) and Sakhalin Island- able to defeat both China and Russia in related conflicts. In 1941, Japan attacked the US and soon occupied part of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to finally become an economic power, as well as an ally of the US. Today, the emperor retains his throne but only symbolically, as the elected politicians have the actual decision-making power.

Since the end of World War II, not willing to repeat the ravages of war, Japan never aimed on becoming a military power, strong enough to pose a threat to other countries. In this respect, the Japanese have adhered to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles –not possessing, not producing and not allowing to be brought in the country; of course, to preserve its independence as a sovereign state, Japan can exercise its right for self-defence. Having worked hard to build a peace-loving nation, today the crime rate is remarkably low, mainly due to well-organized police forces and supportive citizenship.