Japan defence ministry seeks record budget to defend disputed sea
Indonesia and the Philippines have said they will monitor visitor arrivals from Singapore, while several countries have issued advisories warning against travel to the city-state. – JAPAN’S defence ministry has requested a record budget with funds for an anti-ship missile system to defend islands at the centre of a territorial dispute with China.
Tokyo is determined to defend the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea – administered by Japan as the Senkakus but claimed by China as the Diaoyus – as Beijing steps up its claim.
The ministry announced it is seeking 5.168 trillion yen (US$50.12 billion) in spending for the fiscal year starting April 2017, up 2.3 percent from the initial budget for the current fiscal year.
If approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, it would be the fifth-straight year the government sets a record defence budget, as regional tensions remain high.
The proposed budget calls for Japan to develop land-to-ship missiles as well as air-to-ship missiles for patrol planes.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida last week told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during talks in Tokyo that Beijing must stop violating Japanese territory in the East China Sea around the disputed islands.
The budget also proposes funds to dispatch extra personnel to the Philippines and Vietnam in an effort to beef up intelligence-gathering in the South China Sea. –
breeding grounds in the Aljunied