Japan DM Seeks Record Military Budget ‘to Counter China’

Move Adds to Tensions Over Abe's Military Ambitions

One day after massive antiwar protests in Tokyo sought to oppose authorizing overseas military deployments, Japan’s Defense Ministry has submitted its official budget request for 2016, and is seeking the most money ever sought for the country’s military.

Japan’s military has seen substantial spending increases for four straight years, and while they are couching this latest increase as necessary to “counter China,” the plan for mobile forces suggests the main focus in this increase is on joining the US in overseas adventures.

Even with this increase, Japan would be spending only about a third of the amount China is on its military, and would pose no real offensive threat to China at any rate. The complaint that China is building islands in the South China Sea doesn’t make sense either, since that is nowhere near Japan, and Japan has no claims anywhere near those waters.

Since WW2, Japan’s constitution does not really allow the nation to have an offensive military. Despite this, the country now has the seventh most expensive military on the planet, and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been openly seeking to remove what limitations remain on deploying that military abroad on the grounds of “collective self-defense.”

Though in recent years the public has not objected to increases in military spending, the push for overseas deployments has fueled a major backlash, with 120,000 protesters in Tokyo yesterday demanding the government back off these plans.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.