Japan has approved a budget plan for 2019 and 2020 that includes an extra 18bn yen ($160m) for the defence ministry’s anti-submarine and missile projects.
The extra funding should add up to about $6.75bn for the next fiscal year, the defence ministry said.
Japan has been searching for ways to beef up its defences as China and North Korea increase their ability to attack.
The defence ministry, which was little changed last year at 47.5tn yen ($429bn), is spending almost double in fiscal 2020 at 81.1tn yen. The additional 18bn yen will go towards developing new sea-based cruise missiles, short-range surface-to-air missiles and more advanced radar equipment for the air force.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is being asked to add 7.5bn yen for development of a stealth drone. The defence ministry is also seeking 10bn yen to fund two indigenously designed armoured vehicles.
This morning, Japan’s parliament also approved a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year beginning in April of 2.4tn yen – a 1.6% increase from last year. That total is 6.4% less than originally envisaged in an effort to slash the deficit.