Our View: Landmark constitutional changes in 2014 will continue to have a significant impact on Japan’s
defence policy and role in regional and international security in 2015. Key reforms to Article 9 of the
constitution have opened the doors to the international market for Japanese defence firms, who can now
export defence systems and cooperate on joint ventures with international partners. In addition, these
constitutional changes have edged Japan towards military normalisation, paving the way for a more active
role in regional security. To make these amendments actionable, the Ministry of Defence has requested a
record 3.5% budget increase, which will be used to fund major new acquisitions in maritime and air
Following a decade of defence cuts, the Ministry is seeking its third successive defence budget increase in
2015. Military expenditure will increase to USD42.3bn for FY2015, starting April next year. The additional
funding would be earmarked for the purchase of 20 maritime patrol aircrafts, six stealth fighters, five tiltrotator
aircrafts, and three unmanned aerial vehicles, which is part of a wider five-year spending plan. Japan
will build a Dynamic Joint Defence Force, which emphasises both soft and hard aspects of readiness,
sustainability, resiliency and connectivity, reinforced by advanced technology and capability.