The state agency Kyodo News assured that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked for a “new level” of defense cooperation with Australia, in the midst of the controversy over the nuclear submarine pact.
Japan plans to allocate at least 770 billion yen (some 6.771 billion dollars) for defense in a supplementary budget that will be part of the economic stimulus package, the source informed.
That amount is the largest for defense in a supplementary budget, and would dwarf the 430 billion yen planned in a supplementary budget approved in 2019 for missiles and patrol aircraft.
Kyodo added that the Asian nation wants money for an indigenous stealth fighter and missiles that can travel more than 1,000 kilometers, in addition to developing cyber, space and electromagnetic warfare capabilities.
During a webinar hosted today by an Australian think tank, Abe stated that “there is a need to raise bilateral security and defense cooperation between Japan and Australia to a new level.”
The former president explained that Japan should cooperate with security partners in the Aukus nuclear pact – which includes the United States, Britain and Australia – on artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities and quantum technologies.
After the end of World War II Japan pledged to keep its military budgets within one percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party proposed doubling that figure in its political platform ahead of elections held on October 31.