Zhang Huanli, a scholar at the Research Center for International Affairs and a former reporter for Xinhua News Agency in Tokyo, said in an interview with Xinhua that all sides should pay close attention to how much Japan’s defense budget has grown year after year.
Zhang said that Japan’s military expenditures have been breaking new record highs. In the past, Japan had unwritten rules that its defense budget should be controlled and be within one percent of its GDP. Since Abe came to power, this restriction has long been broken. In addition, this year Japan also added more defense-related funds through supplementary budgets. This means that by the end of 2018 Japan’s actual defense budget will far exceed 5.2 trillion yen.
“Doing so, Japan, on the one hand, wants to cater to the United States. On the other hand, Japan hopes to show the United States its determination to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance by strengthening its cooperation with the United States in the military field.”
Zhang Huanli pointed out that, In the long run, increasing military spending in Japan will pose a threat to the security of the Asia-Pacific region. So far, the Abe administration has not made a sincere apology for the crimes that led to the war of aggression. To make matters worse, ever year, Abe has offered sacrifices to the Yasukuni Shrine. This disguised visit to the Yasukuni Shrine undoubtedly is a form of recognizing the war of aggression. Countries that once suffered Japanese aggression cannot avoid remaining vigilant to how Japan’s military expenditures increase by the year and to its ambition to become a military power.
Source: Xinhua, December 23, 2017