Shinzo Abe Current Affairs

Japan approves biggest defence budget

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved approved 5.13 trillion yen ($43.6 billion) in defence spending for the fiscal year starting in April 2017.

It is Japan’s highest annual defence budget announced so far. It is up by 1.4% from the initial budget for the current fiscal year. Now it will be sent to Parliament (Diet) for debate and approval.

Key facts
  • Under the new budget, Japan aims to beef up its ballistic missile defences, allocating funds for a new interceptor missile under joint development with the United States.
  • It also earmarks funds to dispatch extra personnel to the Philippines and Vietnam to increase gathering and sharing of information.
  • The funds have been increased monitoring operations and to maintain mastery of air and sea to counter attacks against “island areas” which are disputed territory.
  • Separately, Japanese Coast Guard will increase security around the islands by allocating a record 210 billion yen, which includes two new patrol ships and the hiring of 200 more personnel.
Comment

It marks the fifth straight annual increase in annual defence budget in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and a territorial row with China. Japan is on constant alert against neighbouring North Korea, a rouge nuclear state which has conducted two underground nuclear tests and more than 20 missile launches in the year 2016. The defence budget rise also reflects the hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempt to build up Japan’s military, which since World War II has been constitutionally limited to self defence. PM Abe is also pushing revisions to the pacifist constitution of Japan, strongly backed new security laws for making it possible for Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time since the end of the war.

Tags:

India and Japan Sign Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

After years of negotiations, India and Japan have signed a bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement on 11 November, 2016. With this, India has become the first non-NPT country with which Japan has signed a Civil Nuclear Agreement.

The civil nuclear agreement between the two countries was not realized so gar manly because India did not fit into Japan’s ‘Hikaku San Gensoku’ or three non-nuclear principles. These principles adopted in a resolution by Japanese parliament provide that Japan would neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor shall it permit their introduction into Japanese territory.

The talks for Civil Nuclear Agreement between the two countries had started when a joint statement in 2006 with joint statement by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. However, the discussions took five years to move to negotiation stage in 2010. The cause of delay was political opposition within Japan from anti-nuclear lobbies and media.

Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. United States, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Australia.

Tags:

123