Cold War 2.0
The Japanese government has announced it will bolster its coast guard capabilities to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea. China also claims and regularly patrols these islands. The coast guard budget is expected to reach a record of 210 billion yen (approximately $1.8 billion), adding eight new ships and more than 200 law enforcement officials.
Japan’s government also just approved a record defense budget of 5.1 trillion yen (approximately $44 billion), with a focus on China and North Korea. The budget is set to include six new submarines equipped with improved sensor technology, which is to be used to deter the challenges presented by the Chinese. The increased funds will also go toward an upgraded missile defense system.
Japan has supposedly been investing in a submarine program since the 1950s and analysts consider the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s submarine fleet to be one of its core strengths.
However, it remains to be seen how long Japan will be able to use the term “self-defense” as a justification for advancing its military capabilities. Earlier this month, China accused Japan of interfering with Chinese military aircraft and launching jamming shells, endangering the safety of Chinese aircraft and crew.