The budget of the Japan Coast Guard is 243.1 billion yen, a new high, experts: it is aimed at China.

According to a report by Japan’s Kyodo News on the 24th, the Japan Coast Guard’s application for the budget at the beginning of 2023 reached 243.1 billion yen (about 12.8 billion yuan), a record high. According to public information, since 2012, the budget of the Coast Guard at the beginning of the year has been increasing yearly.

The Japanese government adopted three newly revised security strategy documents at the cabinet meeting on December 16. The documents propose that Japan will commit itself to policy propositions such as the ability to attack enemy bases and significantly increase defense spending in the next five years. 

According to the Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK) TV station, earlier this month, while revising the three security-related documents, the Japanese government also adopted new guidelines for the Coast Guard. 

The guideline states that to deal with tensions in the waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands, it will strengthen its territorial waters security capabilities using patrol ships and aircraft and the ability to use new technologies such as drones to strengthen maritime surveillance capabilities. 

The policy is clear. To improve “strategic cooperation and support capabilities with relevant domestic and foreign agencies,” the Coast Guard will further strengthen intelligence sharing and cooperation with the Self-Defense Forces; in the event of an armed attack, the Coast Guard will be unified by the Minister of Defense. 

The Coast Guard will carry out corresponding joint training with the Self-Defense Forces. In addition, in order to strengthen the capabilities mentioned above, the Coast Guard is expected to increase its budget to about 320 billion yen in 2027, which is 1.4 times the 2022 budget.

Kyodo News stated that in October this year, the Japan Coast Guard, based on the Hachinohe Air Base of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in Aomori Prefecture in Northeast Japan, activated a large drone, “Sea Guardian,” which is listed in this budget. 8.44 billion yen was invested in increasing the number of drones to three. 

In addition, to cope with the security around the Diaoyu Islands, where Chinese government ships sail regularly, the Coast Guard plans to increase the number of large patrol ships from over 1,000 tons to 85 by 2026.

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