Russia builds new barracks on disputed islands near Japan

April FrancisDec 20, 2018

Last year, China unveiled its first domestically built aircraft carrier as it continues to assert its vast claims to the South China Sea.

The Japanese MoD singled out the deployment of Russian military aircraft on the disputed islands as a particular source of concern.

"We believe this is within. what is allowed under the constitution". The refitting of a second helicopter carrier would follow.

Abe has long sought to enhance Japan's military cooperation with allies.

He said there are no plans for now to increase the number of Izumo-class destroyers in Japan's fleet, which would be necessary if the country wanted to achieve a "full-fledged power projection capability". The spending plans also call for Japan's first aircraft carrier as well as long-range cruise missiles, giving the country the ability to strike distant enemy targets.

China urged Japan to stick to a defence-only policy and peaceful development.

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) lodged an official protest over the issue in the same month.

UH-60J rescue helicopter Japan Air Self Defense Force Air Rescue Wing at Chitose Air Base located in Chitose Hokkaido prefecture
AFP 2018 KAZUHIRO NOGIJapan Army Helicopter Possibly Crashed Debris Found- Defense Minister

"The review of the new defense guideline is extremely meaningful to show the Japanese people and the world what is truly necessary in our defense to protect the people and to serve as the cornerstone of the future", he added.

The guidelines say Japan needs to beef up its air defence capability in the Pacific, while expanding surveillance in the area. These will likely take the form of vertical-takeoff-and-landing UAS for operations onboard a new class of eight multipurpose destroyers Japan is now building.

However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put particular emphasis on abandoning the pacifist clause, citing emerging "threats" from China and North Korea.

The program includes a plan to purchase a total of 18 fighter jets apparently to put them on Izumo-class carriers and install two USA -developed land-based Aegis missile systems to counter the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.

The five-year plan approved Tuesday assumes record defence spending of 27.47 trillion yen (US$244 billion) through March 2024.

Tokyo's decision to increase its aircraft purchases came after Trump openly criticized a trade deficit between the two nations, and called on Japan to spend "massive amounts" on American defense products. Japan's USA arms purchases have surged, and the Defence Ministry came under criticism by the government's Board of Audit for agreeing too easily to Washington's hefty asking price. The guidelines said Japan will seek more cost-efficient purchase of advanced-capability US equipment while pushing for more joint research and development. The F-35B is apparently the only candidate to fulfil this role, and the hefty Japanese defense budget also includes buying 42 such fighters over the coming decade. It was unclear whether the F-2 successor would be made-in-Japan or jointly developed. Japan should aim for a unified, simultaneous "multi-dimensional and unified defence capability" that breaks away from the conventional concept of ground, maritime and air defence, the guidelines said. A new joint-forces cyber unit will bolster Japan's defences against cyber attacks.

Senate overwhelmingly approves criminal justice reform
For example, the Koch brothers-backed group, Americans for Prosperity, applauded senators for putting "policy ahead of politics". The prisoners that will be impacted by this bill are those who are behind bars for non-violent crimes such as drug possession.

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