24 Dec 15. Japan defence budget to exceed Y5trn in 2016/17. Japan’s defence budget will grow 1.5 percent next year and top 5trn yen ($41.4bn) for the first time, driven by costs for U.S. base relocation and growing personnel expenses, the government’s draft budget showed on Thursday.
Defence outlays for the year starting April 2016 are set at 5.05trin yen, the fourth consecutive rise since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December 2012 and ended a decade-long decline in such spending.
Under Abe’s leadership, the ruling bloc in September pushed through parliament hotly-contested legislation that allows Japan’s military to fight overseas, for the first time since its defeat in World War Two, in defence of a friendly country under attack.
Japan is allocating 59.5bn yen to cover costs for the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corp’s Futenma air base on the southern island of Okinawa. That compares with 24.4bn yen for the current fiscal year.
The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to close Futenma and move its functions elsewhere on the island. However, relocation has stalled due to opposition from Okinawa residents worried about noise, pollution and crime and resentful of what they see as an unfair burden for the U.S.-Japan security pact.
The central government is planning to press ahead with reclamation work for the Futenma relocation despite a court battle now under way with Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga over the project.
Growing personnel costs will also boost defence expenditures as public sector salaries have been on the rise, reflecting higher wages in the private sector.
Items on Tokyo’s shopping list for the coming fiscal year include six F-35 stealth fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp and 11 units of AAV7 amphibious assault vehicles made by BAE Systems, as Japan fortifies island defence.
It has been locked in a territorial spat with China over a group of East China Sea islets, with patrol ships and military aircraft from both countries routinely shadowing each other near the islands, stoking fears that an accidental collision could trigger a clash.
The government cut the procurement of Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft, built by Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, to four units from the initially planned 12 after maintenance and other expenses were estimated to be higher than originally expected. (Source: Reuters)
24 Dec 15. NCKU, AIDC Sign Agreement for Further Cooperation. National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Tainan, Taiwan, has agreed to partner with the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) to promote aerospace industry in Taiwan.
NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su and AIDC Chairman Anson Liao on behalf of both institutes signed a cooperative agreement to open a joint research center for aerospace technology innovation on December 14 at NCKU.
Su gave her remarks at the signing ceremony saying, the university is committed to play a key role in aerospace innovation.
“With the agreement, NCKU and AIDC are delighted to extend the collaborative relationship to facilitate long-term and comprehensive development,” Su added.
Liao said, “To face the challenges of global aviation industry, the aerospace industry in Taiwan has to cultivate talents with the ability to design and innovate.”
Therefore, AIDC is hoping to foster the collaborative relationship with NCKU in academic research on automation, high-end engine research and design, composite materials, airframe design, and many others, according to Liao.
A joint research center will be set up aiming for aerospace technology innovation.
More frequent and productive exchanges and collaboration will be initiated after signing the agreement, according to the university.
The partnership will also kick off AIDC scholarship, internship programs, and research projects for cultivating new talents and students who pursue a career in aerospace.
Established in 1983, NCKU Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics has made great co