JAPAN: Japan defense budget beefs up cyber, space capabilities

The Watch Staff

In December 2019, Japan approved a record defense budget of U.S. $48.5 billion for 2020 with the aim of strengthening the nation’s capabilities in outer space and cyberspace, according to a Kyodo News report.

The draft budget was up 1.1% from fiscal 2019 to a record high for the sixth consecutive year as Japan improves its ability to deal with North Korean missile and nuclear threats and the maritime assertiveness of the People’s Republic of China.

Japan will form the country’s first space operation in 2020 as part of the Air Self-Defense Force. Money will be budgeted for equipment to detect electromagnetic interference with Japanese satellites as well as to monitor space debris.

Japan’s Defense Ministry also plans to expand a cyber defense unit from 220 personnel to 290. Money will be designated to develop a “standoff electronic warfare aircraft,” which can jam the equipment of enemy forces.

Japan’s latest national defense guidelines labeled the cyberspace and outer space defense realms as having the potential to “fundamentally change the existing paradigm of national security.”