Japan's defense budget for 2022 hits record for eighth year

The Japan Times 

The Cabinet approved a defense budget Friday of ¥5.40 trillion ($47 billion) for fiscal 2022, setting a record high for the eighth consecutive year, to advance the development of new technologies in the face of China's growing military might and the North Korean nuclear threat. The draft budget, including outlays for hosting U.S. military bases, rose 1.1% from the current fiscal year ending in March as Japan ramps up its defense capabilities. The increase for a 10th year in a row is largely attributable to a sharp rise in research and development spending, for which the Defense Ministry has earmarked ¥291.1 billion, up ¥79.6 billion, or 37.6%, from a year earlier. The ministry will invest in advanced technologies, such as crewless planes that use artificial intelligence to fly in teams with next-generation fighter jets. "As the security environment surrounding Japan has been changing at an unprecedented speed and becoming increasingly severe, it is an urgent task for Japan to strengthen its necessary defense capabilities," Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said at a news conference.

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