Japan is likely to release the update of the National Defense Program Guideline this month as it deals with China’s military build-up and North Korea’s recent artillery attack.
The defence guideline will outline a defence capability to increase its ability to cope with the rise of Beijing’s military, while responding to terror and guerrilla attacks.
The guideline could also identify North Korea as a threat and call for stronger security cooperation, not only with the US but also with South Korea and Australia.
A draft appendix to the guideline includes increasing the number of submarines and to strengthen the air force’s fighter plane contingent.
The review will be the first since Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan took government last year, according to Reuters.
China’s defence spending has quadrupled over the past decade, while Japan’s spending has decreased by 4% due to a weaker economy and a public debt twice the size of its $5tn economy.
Japan’s constitution bans the maintenance of a military, however, it allows armed forces for self-defence.