For a country famous for print production values, this is probably the ugliest cover I've ever seen from Japan.

The 2010 Japan Defense Budget is up and on the web, and I decided to print it out and blog commentary on it. It’s really unlike the U.S. defense budget. On one hand, it has interesting details, such as diagrams on how “fire and forget” air-to-air missiles work, as opposed to radar-homing missiles. On the other hand, descriptions tend to be a bit on the simplistic side, and the odd English grammar can be distracting.

I’ll be blogging irregularly on the budget, trying to slip in a post when I feel like I’ve digested enough to comment on. I’ll break it down into the following categories:

1. Naval Forces

2. Air Forces

3. Ground Forces

4. Counterterrorism

5. Special Weapons (NBC) and Space

6. U.S.-Japan

7. Peacekeeping

Each post will discuss R&D, procurement, and operations and maintenance.

There’s some interesting stuff in the budget. Laser weapons. Anti-cruise missile systems. Some kind of all-detecting AEW aircraft. All defensive stuff, of course.

Costs are insane. Do you think your country is paying too much for defense? How about $600,000 USD for a 120mm battalion mortar?

Maybe they’ve been blinged out like the iPod Touch and cell phone I saw on the Shinkansen between Osaka and Tokyo.


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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch