The Missile Defense Agency conducts the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: US Missile Defense Agency handout via Reuters/Leah Garton

On Friday, the Japanese Ministry Defense released a defense budget which, if passed, would be the most expensive in the country’s history.

The spending proposal comes days after Tokyo released a defense white paper, highlighting a growing threat from China and the continued risk of conflict with North Korea.

Japanese spending on defense by year (unit: trillion yen; year 31 = 2019). Chart: Japanese Ministry of Defense

Beijing took offense to the paper’s characterization of China’s military, with defense spokesperson, Wu Qian, saying that China will “resolutely oppose” the paper’s claims.

The white paper “is full of slander of the Chinese military” and “misunderstanding of history and reality,” Wu said, as quoted by China’s Global Times.

One sticking point in the paper is the status of Diaoyu Island, also known as Senkaku Island, which is currently controlled by Japan but also claimed by China.

South Korea also strongly objected to territorial claims made in the paper, specifically regarding the island known as Dokdo in Korea.

Illustration: Japanese Ministry of Defense

The biggest ticket item on in the spending proposal will be on missile defense with a reported 235 billion yen earmarked for Aegis Ashore radar missile tracking stations, built by Lockheed Martin.

Out of a total of 5.3 trillion yen (US$47 billion), the bill has set aside a total of 424 billion yen for missile defense, more than twice the total from the year before.

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