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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Japan's re-emergence and South-east Asia

Kawasaki P-1 ASW AircraftJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe kicked off the year with a bang, endorsing a US$42 billion (S$56 billion) defence budget, which is set to cover state-of-the-art military acquisitions, featuring F-35 stealth fighter jets, P-1 maritime patrol aircraft as well as components of Northrop Grumman RQ-4 drones and Aegis combat systems, among others.

The newly endorsed budget marks a 2 per cent year-on-year increase, bringing Japan's defence spending closer to 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Despite the landmark increase in the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' budget, the country is still spending considerably less than other Pacific powers such as China, Russia and the United States, which have allocated between 2 per cent and 4 per cent of their GDP to augmenting their military muscle.

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