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Japan approves record $242 billion defence plan. Aircraft carriers, stealth fighters, radars sanctioned

Tokyo – Japan has added assertion to its defence policy to retaliate against China’s anti-Japan activities in the East China Sea and its growing military movements in the South China Sea as also in the Pacific Ocean. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sanctioned a defence expenditure of $242 billion which also includes the budget of two aircraft carriers. Moreover, China, as well as both the Koreas, have objected to Japan’s decision. China has threatened Japan to withdraw the decision.

Two weeks ago, Japan initiated the process for buying 100 advanced F-35 stealth fighters from the United States. Prime Minister Abe’s decision to equip the Japanese air force with F-35s, which are the US Navy’s most deployed fighter jets has taken everyone by surprise. Nevertheless, the Abe government gave indications of Japan planning to deploy the ultra-modern, advanced fighter jets on its Izumo-class aircraft carriers in the Japanese navy.

Japanese Defense Ministry had presented the plan to transform the Izumo-class helicopter carriers into aircraft carriers. The proposal had reportedly received strong support from the serving as well as former Japanese military officials. Nevertheless, the Abe government had not issued an official statement regarding it although Prime Minister Abe announced a defence budget of $242 billion and said that a large chunk of the budget would be reserved for the refurbishment of the two carriers.

Information has emerged about the Abe government making special provisions for the purchase of stealth fighters and advanced radar systems along with the aircraft carriers. The government’s effective defence policy is claimed to be directed towards China. Japan is augmenting its defence capabilities to retaliate against the increasing Chinese activities in the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, Japan, a country which adopted a passive defence policy since World War II has changed it for the last few years. The aggressive Japanese strategy has also received an endorsement from the United States and the European countries. Albeit, China does not approve of the change in policy and has criticised it saying that the Japanese prime minister is preparing his country to become as aggressive as it was during the Second World War. 

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