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Japan PM Kishida Announces Unprecedented Military Build-up

Published: December 16, 2022
Japans Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 16, 2022. Japan's government approved a major defence policy overhaul on Dec. 16, including a significant spending hike, as it warned China poses the "greatest strategic challenge ever" to the country's security. (Image: DAVID MAREUIL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday announced the country’s biggest military build-up since World War Two with a $320 billion plan that will buy missiles capable of striking China and ready it for sustained conflict, as regional tensions and Russia’s Ukraine invasion stoke war fears.

His government worries that Russia has set a precedent that will encourage China to attack Taiwan, threatening nearby Japanese islands, disrupting supplies of advanced semiconductors and putting a potential stranglehold on sea lanes that supply Middle East oil.

Kishida told a news conference that the current capabilities of Japan’s Self Defense Forces were insufficient and that the security environment around the country was becoming severe.

He said China was posing a challenge to peace and security for Japan and in the world.

(Production: Chris Gallagher)