TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Japanese Defense Ministry is planning to request a record-high defense budget of 5.19 trillion yen ($46.1 billion) for the next fiscal year, commencing on April 1, 2018, the Nikkei newspaper reported Saturday.
The defense expenditure will be included in the country’s fiscal budget, which may hit an all-time high of 97.7 trillion yen ($867 billion), according to the media.
The initial draft defense budget for the fiscal year 2018 was released by the Japanese Defense Ministry in late August. The document stipulated the purchase of six F-35A fighter jets, four V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft, as well as the construction of two advanced and compact patrol ships and a new submarine.
The Japanese Defense Ministry is also set to spend funds on developing the next-generation radar system, which would be capable of detecting advanced stealth fighters, and purchase advanced missiles for anti-missile systems, including SM-3 Block IIA and Patriot PAC-3 MSE (Missile Segment Enhancement) interceptors.
In ensuring the safety of its nation, Japan relies on the US, as after World War II the renunciation of military forces and warfare became enshrined in the Japanese Constitution.
In recent years, Japan has been harboring a goal of amending its pacifist Constitution, with its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing a plan to revise the charter by 2020.
Japan's anxiety is prompted by the provocative actions of North Korea, which has recently launched its most advanced ballistic missile, a rocket which, according to Pyongyang's military, is able to reach the territory of the US.
In September, North Korea announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded on the warhead of an intercontinental ballistic missile.