Japan is seeking 235 billion yen ($212 million) for US-built Aegis Ashore radar missile systems in its new budget proposal released on Friday.
Japan’s defense ministry announced today that the defence spending will increase to 2.1 percent to 5.3 trillion yen ($48 billion) for the year starting April 1, as North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes remains a pressing concern.
Other big buys in the latest budget request includes six Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters for 91.6 billion yen and two E-2D Hawkeye early warning patrol planes built by Northrop Grumman. Japan's Maritime Self Defence Force also wants funding to build two new destroyers and a submarine worth a combined 171 billion yen.
Japan's military also wants funds to buy longer-range Raytheon Co SM-3 interceptor missiles designed to strike enemy missiles in space and money to improve the range and accuracy of its PAC-3 missiles batteries that are the last line of defence against incoming warheads.
The defence ministry's latest budget request comes ahead of a possible meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in September, when the Japanese leader is expected to attend the United Nations in New York.