Cabinet approves record defense budget

The Japanese government has approved a record defense budget of more than 5.4 trillion yen, or roughly 47 billion dollars, for fiscal 2022.

The Cabinet agreed on Friday on defense spending for the year starting in April. The budget is about 510 million dollars more than the current year and represents year-on-year growth for a 10th consecutive year.

More than 25 billion dollars will be earmarked for spending in fiscal 2023 or later. The designated later expenditures also reached a record high amount.

About 2.8 billion dollars will be used for building runways and a parking apron on Mageshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture for the construction of a Self Defense Force base.

The base is also expected to support drills for carrier-based aircraft belonging to the US military stationed in Japan.

Regarding Japan's cost for hosting US forces in the country, about 1.9 billion dollars has been earmarked for this, based on a recent agreement between the two countries.

Research and development costs will be the largest-ever at roughly 2.5 billion dollars, including about 750 million dollars for the development of a new fighter jet to replace the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's F-2 aircraft.