Although we’ve covered some of the highlights of the coming fiscal year’s budget request (namely the purchase of the AAV7), with the budget request figure now public – plus its more readable 50-page booklet (all in Japanese), it is time to check and highlight the figures of note.
» ¥21.2 billion for cyber-security: with breaches in the security of Japan’s major defense contractors and the Diet itself, according to IT Pro, Nikkei and NHK, the SDF is looking to create a 100-man strong Cyberspace Defense Unit as well as boosting training and development of cyber-security. This unit will reportedly bring together information and tasks from the SDF C4 Systems Command and the existing cyber security units of the each individual force (Ground, Maritime, Air), but also strengthen their capabilities and readiness, including the strengthening of the SDF and MoD networks themselves with an investment of ¥13.3 billion. This mirrors a general strengthening initiative being pursued through the government under the leadership of the National Police Agency. The MoD’s announcement of the plans apparently led to a rush to buy shares in LAC, a network and information security specialist.
Although rather grandiose-sounding (and reminiscent of the fictional ISDF introduced in the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory game), the unit will be a centralized tech support, risk assessment and cyber-investigation group rather than a force equivalent to the GSDF, MSDF and ASDF. I hope they choose a different name, as this one is just asking to be torn apart by Japan’s neighbors. [My bad, see comments]
» ¥30.8 billion for two F-35 fighters, 47% more per unit than originally announced upon the contract signing: according to Mainichi, the price rise is a result of the reduction of productivity and efficiency after an intake of labor inexperienced with the F35 itself. The Wall Street Journal reported that ¥116.8 billion has been requested for the provision of assembly facilities.
» ¥2.5 billion for four AAV7 amphibious landing vehicles: see Kyle Mizokami’s previous post on the issue for further details.
» ¥3 billion for research into IR-Detection UAV platform: the Wall Street Journal, NHK and Nikkei report that the MoD wants an infra-red-capable UAV to detect North Korean ballistic missile launches, although you might be wondering why the J/FPS-5 radar network is not sufficient.
» ¥72.3 billion for the construction of a new 5,000-ton destroyer: the destroyer will reportedly be an overhaul of the Akizuki-class with improved counter-submarine capabilities and a lower life-cycle cost as a result of the use of Combined Gas turbine Electric And Gas turbine (COGLAG) propulsion.
» ¥7.2 towards the development of a new field communications system: utilizing recent technology and mass production to leverage economy of scale, the SDF is looking to implement lessons learned from the Tohoku Earthquake and undoubtedly to catch up with American developments in the field.
[Special thanks to Susumu at Surveillance to Go Nowhere]
A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan.
His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch