Defense Budget Aims To Create New Space Unit

Defense budget aims to create new space unit

Japan's Defense Ministry says it has decided to request a budget allocation to create a new space monitoring unit within the Air Self-Defense Force.

The Defense Ministry is set to ask for more than 5.3 trillion yen, or about 49.7 billion dollars, for the fiscal year starting in April 2020.

That would exceed this fiscal year's initial budget, which increased for the seventh year in a row to become the largest-ever estimate.

Defense program guidelines adopted last year call for boosting Japan's defense capabilities in the realms of outer space and cyberspace.

The new unit is aimed at monitoring suspicious satellites and ever-increasing amounts of space debris.

The budget request also includes funds to refurbish the destroyer Izumo to give it the functions of an aircraft carrier, as well as money to purchase the state-of-the-art F-35B stealth fighter jets the Izumo is expected to carry.