Japan Seeks Record Defense Budget for 2024

Japan’s Defense Ministry asked on August 31 for a record $53 billion (¥7.7 trillion) budget for the next fiscal year, marking a 13 percent increase. The request marks another step in Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plan to double defense spending to 2 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product by 2027.

With the larger budget, the Defense Ministry seeks to better attack enemy missile launch sites. The budget also includes money for better military transport, a new joint headquarters to command Japan’s three military branches, a munitions stockpile in case of prolonged war and two new Aegis defense ships.

U.S. ally, Chinese enemy: Tokyo has identified China as its biggest threat as tensions rise quickly between China and Japan’s main ally, the United States.

Last year, Japan contracted to buy and deploy 400 U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missiles after April 2026. On August 28, the U.S. also approved a potential sale to Japan of up to 50 air-to-surface missiles with extended range. Japan is also working with the U.S. on a new type of interceptor to counter Chinese hypersonic-glide weapons that can make evasive maneuvers, making them difficult to shoot down.

Prophecy says: Ultimately, the Bible shows that Japan will switch allegiance and join forces with China. Revelation 16:12 prophesies of a multinational Asian alliance called “the kings of the east.” This Asian alliance will field 200 million soldiers (Revelation 9:16). Ezekiel 38 shows that Russia and China will be at the head of this alliance. Verse 6 specifies that “Gomer” and “Togarmah”—ancient names for Japan—will be a key part of this alliance.

Learn more: Read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”