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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 27 - May 10  > Washington’s weapons sales to Tokyo jumps under Abe regime
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2016 April 27 - May 10 [POLITICS]

Washington’s weapons sales to Tokyo jumps under Abe regime

April 29, 2016
The total value of weapons which Japan annually purchases from the United States has dramatically increased since Prime Minister Abe Shinzo took power in 2012. This was recently revealed by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi.

The U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Japan increased by 3.5 times from 133.2 billion yen in fiscal 2012 to 465.7 billion yen in fiscal 2015, according to Inoue.

The arms Tokyo bought from Washington include many things which even military experts criticize as “inappropriate”. The prime example is the purchase of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV-7).

Japan’s Defense Ministry purchased 30 AAV-7s in 2015, each of which costs about 700 million yen. The ministry is planning to buy another 22 AAV-7s over the coming years. The defense authorities claim that if any Japanese islands are captured by an enemy force, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will bombard the islands from the air and sea, and launch landing operations using the amphibious vehicles.

A security expert, who had served as an advisory panel member for the Defense Ministry, said to Akahata, “It’s far from realistic to threaten to bombard an island where people are living.”

The maximum speed of AAV-7s on the sea is only 13 kilometers per hour. In the first place, the SDF has no vessel that can transport a lot of amphibious vehicles close to solitary islands.

Another military journalist said, “Slow-moving AAV-7s will present perfect targets for enemies on land. That is a faulty plan that just puts top priority to purchasing U.S.-built weapons.”
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