Pacifist Japan unveils biggest military build-up since World War – II

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Japan on Friday unveiled its biggest military build-up since World War Two with a $320 billion plan.

The sweeping, five-year plan, once unthinkable in pacifist Japan, will make the country the world’s third-biggest military spender after the United States and China, based on current budgets.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who described Japan and its people as being at a “turning point in history”, said the ramp-up was “my answer to the various security challenges that we face”.

“This is setting a new heading for Japan. If appropriately executed, the Self-Defence Forces will be a real, world-class effective force,” said Yoji Koda, a former Maritime Self Defence Force admiral, who commanded the Japanese fleet in 2008.

The government said it would also stockpile spare parts and other munitions, expand transport capacity and develop cyber warfare capabilities. In its postwar, American-authored constitution, Japan gave up the right to wage war and means to do so.—Agencies