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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 16 - 22  > JCP Koike urges gov’t to cancel purchase of spy drones from US
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2017 August 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike urges gov’t to cancel purchase of spy drones from US

August 22, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on August 21 held a press conference at the Diet building and demanded the cancellation of the Abe government’s plan to purchase unmanned spy planes from the U.S., citing the inflating installation costs.

Koike showed two internal documents of the Defense Ministry concerning the government’s plan to buy Northrop Grumman Global Hawk drones. One of the two documents is dated June 28 and was allegedly compiled by the ministry’s Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning. It indicates that the ministry was informed by the U.S. Air Force that the price of Global Hawks went up by 11.9 billion yen or 23% from the initially-set price to 62.9 billion yen. If the increase in running costs is taken into account, the additional cost will reach 14 billion yen. The document proposes cancelling the purchase of the costly reconnaissance aircraft.

Another document released in July was apparently written by the said bureau and the ministry’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency. While acknowledging that the price may eventually go up by 25%, the document states that the capabilities of Global Hawk drones are essential for Japan to cope with changes in the security environment in northeast Asia.

Koike pointed out that at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (two-plus-two) meeting held on August 17, the two governments agreed to promote military cooperation between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. forces. He said, “Under the Abe government, defense spending exceeded five trillion yen for four years in a row. It is unacceptable to further increase defense spending to push forward with Japan’s military buildup.

Koike stated that the Japanese government should not give in to the Trump administration’s demand to buy more U.S. weapons. He said that the Abe government should not only abandon the Global Hawk acquisition plan but also disclose all relevant information pertaining to the anticipated use of the drones.

Past related article:
> JCP Aomori urges governor to oppose deployment of US drones [May 24 and 25, 2014]
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