Advertisement

Japan to allocate up to $3B for new missile defense system

The proposal is a response to North Korea’s continued missile provocations.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Japan's defense budget has increased annually since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in December 2012, and Tokyo is planning more purchases of missile defense systems for 2017. Photo by Stephen Shaver /UPI
Japan's defense budget has increased annually since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in December 2012, and Tokyo is planning more purchases of missile defense systems for 2017. Photo by Stephen Shaver /UPI | License Photo

TOKYO, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Japan is planning to allocate about $2 billion to $3 billion toward missile defense systems in response to North Korea's continued nuclear and missile provocations.

The defense-spending proposal is expected to be part of Japan's third revised supplementary budget, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported Monday.

Advertisement

North Korea has launched a total of 22 ballistic missiles in 2016, and more provocations are expected. The deployment of new missile defense equipment is to act as a key deterrent, according to the report.

Highlights of the proposal include the planned deployment of the Patriot Advanced Capability Missile Segment Enhancement, a powerful missile interceptor.

The PAC-3 MSE reportedly has a wider range and altitude than the PAC-3, which is the system currently in deployment in Japan.

The purchase cost of the PAC-3 MSE, $150.2 million, is reflected in Japan's fiscal year 2017 budget, according to the report.

Japan's defense ministry is also planning to allocate a portion of the third supplementary budget to the construction of either a THAAD or Aegis ballistic missile defense system, as well as improved radars for Japan's F-15 fighter jets that can be deployed in response to Chinese maneuvers in the East China Sea.

Advertisement

In August, Japan planned a record $50 billion defense budget for 2017.

Japan's defense budget has increased annually since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in December 2012.

About $735.3 million of the budget is to also go toward building powerful new submarines with improved sonar systems that could monitor the Sea of Japan.

Latest Headlines