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Japan OKs $56bn military budget, to build Patriot Missiles for US – Times of India


TOKYO: Japan‘s Cabinet on Friday approved a record 16% increase in military spending next year and eased its postwar ban on lethal weapons exports, underscoring a shift away from the country’s self-defence-only principle.
The move came as Japan accelerates the deployment of long-range cruise missiles that can hit targets in China or North Korea while Japanese troops increasingly work with allies and take on more offensive roles.
The 7.95 trillion-yen ($56 billion) defence budget for the 2024 fiscal year that begins in March marks the second year of the five-year military buildup program. The spending plan is part of a 112.7 trillion-yen ($794 billion) national budget and still needs the approval by the parliament.
Last year, the government budgeted 6.8 trillion yen (about $48 billion) for defence.
In a latest step under a new security strategy that Japan adopted a year ago, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida‘s government also allowed the export of weapons and components made in Japan under foreign licenses to the licensing nations. The government quickly approved the first export shipment under the change, agreeing to send to the United States surface-to-air Patriot guided missiles produced in Japan under an American licence. Officials said that it would complement US stock, raising speculation that Japanese-produced Patriots may be sent to Ukraine.


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