8. JAPAN – $41.6 BILLION - Responding to rising tensions in the South China Sea and the increasing threat from North Korea, the Japanese government expanded the nation's defense budget earlier this year. Though the government is keen to maintain Japan's pacifist ethos, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration is planning to invest in anti-missile defense systems and increase the country's military presence on its southern islands.
2014 Dec . Japan’s economy suffers a heavier contraction than initially reported for the July-to-September period, revised data show, serving as a bitter reminder to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the nation’s economy remains in the woods two years after he came into office.
Could Japan Become America’s New Proxy Army? | " Japan has been shaken by the largest anti-war demos since the late 60s, when millions of students, workers & ordinary citizens turned out to try to block their govt’s collaboration w/the US war in Vietnam. The issue this time is the plan by PM Shinzo Abe to alter a key provision of Japan’s peace constitution to allow Japan’s “Self Defense Forces” to take part in overseas military ops f/the 1st time since WWII." Read/share full article. 7/27