Govt. to create ‘comprehensive defense budget’ framework to meet 2% target

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office

The government plans to compile defense-related budget requests under a new “comprehensive defense budget” framework in a bid to strengthen defense capabilities, according to government sources.

Under the new framework, the government aims to secure defense-related budgets across government ministries and agencies, centered around the National Security Secretariat, and compile a comprehensive defense budget equivalent to at least 2% of the nation’s gross domestic product in five years.

The new framework will include the conventional defense budget and spending for defense-related research and development, public infrastructure development, and the Japan Coast Guard, among other things.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Currently, the government’s annual budget for science and technology research and development exceeds ¥4 trillion, but nearly 50% of that goes to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, with the Defense Ministry’s share at only about 4%.

Under the new framework, a council of related ministries and organizations — including the Defense Ministry and the secretariat of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation — will be formed to identify key technological issues in the defense field and a target budget will be set. Defense-related research and development spending will be included in the comprehensive defense budget.

A council for public infrastructure development will also be established with relevant ministries and organizations, including the Defense Ministry and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.

Policies will be decided concerning the development and operation of air and sea ports crucial for Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard deployments and the evacuation of residents in the event of an emergency, based on requests from the SDF and the JCG.

Necessary spending will be compiled under a “special category” in the overall national public infrastructure development budget, and will be included in the comprehensive defense budget.

Facility developments in the Nansei Islands which includes Okinawa Prefecture and islands south of Kyushu will be prioritized. Currently, Naha Airport on Okinawa island and Shimojishima Airport in Miyakojima are the only two airports in the region with runways long enough to be used by SDF fighter jets.