Japan’s defense ministry has requested additional 730 million yen (US $6.4 million) in the next fiscal year’s budget plan to introduce two land-based Aegis missile defense systems.
"There is a need to strengthen our capability to regularly and sustainably defend all of the country as soon as possible at a time when North Korea is building up its ballistic missile capability," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera was quoted as saying to reporters in Sendai by Japan Today on Sunday.
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to endorse the so-called Aegis Ashore deployment on Dec 19, as the country aims to bolster its defense capability against North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat, the news portal quoted an unnamed government source as saying.
Onodera said the requested funding for fiscal 2018 starting next April will be used for surveying geological features, designing the deployment plan and other expenses.
The ministry is also seeking to include related expenses in the supplementary budget for the current year ending next March, the minister said.
In the ministry's initial budgetary request for fiscal 2018 made in August, which came to a record-high 5.26 trillion yen ($49 billion), the ministry said it is seeking funds to introduce a new missile shield system, while leaving open the actual sum.