In 2023, the government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida approved a record defense budget of $49.2 billion, according to Japan Forward.
Furthermore, this year saw the adoption of the "National Defense Strategy" (NDS), outlining ambitious investments to expand defense and security capabilities over a 10-year period. The NDS places special emphasis on widespread integration of unmanned systems across all branches of the military. This stands in stark contrast to the modest approach towards drone utilization seen in 2018, when the Ministry of Defense limited purchases to American Global Hawk drones. Drones now take center stage in Kishida's government's rearmament strategy.
Reasons behind Japan's Budget Increase
As per Japan's Ministry of Defense, North Korea has launched over 150 missiles in the past decade, with over a third of them in the last year alone.