The Ministry of Finance closed on August 31 ministries’ applications for estimated budgets for the Fiscal 2016. The general account amounts in total 102 trillion Yen, the highest record. A demand for military budget, in particular, is estimated 5.0911 trillion Yen, the biggest in the history, though the current sum has been raised for consecutive three years since the inauguration of the second Abe government in 2012.
OVER 5 TRILLION YEN OF MILITARY BUDGET KEPT CONSECUTIVELY
Minister of Defense Nakatani Gen told with a joke: ‘pronunciation of 5.0911 trillion Yen in the Japanese language has a meaning of “fully satisfactory”, and therefore, the ministry must gain sufficient budget in both of real and nominal terms’. The ministry demanded a hike by 2.2% of the current budget.
War Legislation Presupposed
For the next fiscal the Ministry emphasizes more powerful defense ability on the remote islands, presuming China as a rival. It will procure 12 units of Osprey, a new type of transport aircraft (which counts 132.1 billion Yen), to reach the target of 17. It incorporated 34.1 billion Yen for the first time for 36 units of a maneuver combat vehicle to recapture lost islands and cope with a guerrilla war. These vehicles, which can be transported by aircraft, can travel in a speed of 100 km per hour and equip with 100 millimeter artillery.
For rapid response to contingency on the remote islands with maneuver combat vehicles, seven divisions and brigades out of the 15 of the Ground Self Defense Forces stationed across the country will be reorganized for readiness by the end of Fiscal Year 2023. In the forthcoming fiscal the Eighth Brigade (Kumamoto City) and the 14th Brigade (Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture) will be realigned with deployment of maneuver combat vehicles.
The ministry also demanded a budget to purchase a transport plane C2 to carry personnel and vehicles. A C2 can cruise a 6500-kilometer range and carry in maximum 30 tons, which is four times bigger than the ability of a C1 (8 tons), an incumbent plane.
In addition, if the controversial war legislation is finalized, the Self Defense Forces (SDF) will vastly increase missions to join the US military on the CEC (=Cooperative Engagement Capability) basis. The ministry demanded 167.5 billion Yen to build an Aegis-type vessel to be mounted with a new type of combat system to reinforce cooperative ability. The ministry will buy a new type of refueling aircraft to extend flight range of fighters and protected mobility vehicles used in the battle fields to endure mines installed on the roads.
Budget Exceeds 5 Trillion Yen
Due to tight fiscal situation the military budget had dropped since the Fiscal 2002 peak of 4.9560 trillion Yen for 10 years, recording a decrease by approximately 200 billion Yen.
The government, however, declared a shift to a military build-up policy, excusing of ‘changes in the security environment’ when the second Abe administration was inaugurated at the end of the year 2012. The military budget counted 4.7538 trillion Yen in the Fiscal 2013 with an increase by 0.8% of that of the previous year, 4.8848 trillion Yen in the Fiscal 2014 with a 2.8% surge and 4.9801 trillion Yen in the Fiscal 2015 with 2% surge.
The Defense Ministry estimates the original budget for the Fiscal 2016 should go beyond a 5 trillion Yen line, which is for the first time to exceed it. In the real term, however, in the 2014 Fiscal’s supplementary budget another 200 billion Yen was added, so if the amount is added to the original sum, the total surpassed 5 trillion Yen.
Prime Minister repeats: ‘if the security bills are enacted, deterrence improves’, as if a monk preached a Buddha’s phrase. Deterrence in the concept of Premier relies on military capabilities. If that is true, as the so-called war bills presuppose China as ‘a potential enemy’, Japan will be obliged to commit in infinite competitions of military capabilities. We must not allow Japan to go to this direction as a sovereign state.
September 15, 2015