Military expense classification: case study of Japan and US

It was said that China is the only country which does not list its space program, or all the army pension in the military budget. Transparency in budget and 'proper' classification are needed. Apparently China is not the only country which needs more "transparency".

According to this report, Japan's military spending classification is similar to China's. The 'adjustment' by Rand/SIPRI/Pentagon also applies to Japan, e.g. space program, and protection fee payments
  • 2006 Official budget: US$41.6bn
  • 62.4bn Yen ($0.5bn) on Spy Satellite not included in military budget (related article on Japan's program)
    • Question: In US, NASA is not under DoD, NASA budget should also listed separate from defense budget (see below)
  • 600bn Yen ($5bn) paid to US for the cost of its bases in Japan, also under a special budget. The US troops are supposed to defend Japan, it is quite natural that this will be paid to Japan's own military if US forces is relocated
  • Another undisclosed amount for the relocation from Okinawa bases (to Guam), to be paid by Japan. It was estimated to be about 330bn Yen ($2.9bn), a one-off expense.
  • Japan Coast Guard (Maritime Safety Agency 海上保安庁 ) is not under the defense budget (this is probably comparable to China's PAP), total budget for 2005 was 168.7bn Yen ($1.4bn)
    • The Coast Guard, similar to the Coast Guard of the US, has been involved in fishering disputes and coastal patrolling activities. It also seeks to spend 350bn yen (over 7 years) to build new fleet (I am not sure if this 50bn yen is already included in the 168.7bn number
    • Question: does national guard and coast guard of other countries listed under defense? It appears not. If so, does that mean Rand/Pentagon/IISS have over-estimated China's defense budget?
  • $1-1.2bn (i.e. 1/3 of the total cost) contribution to the US Missile Defense System, spread over 6 years starting 2006, so cost for 2006 will be about $0.2bn
  • Over 1000bn Yen ($8.5bn) of pension for the JSDF is not listed under the military budget
Taking these into account (except the Guam base), the Japan's total military spending is over 670bn yen, or $57bn. It would be $60bn if one includes the cost to send the 9,000 US forces back to Guam. I have tried to verify the numbers through independent web-sites outside China (see links above), but I am not able to find the pension number, or to confirm if such number is indeed outside the defense budget.


US defense budget, apparently is also defined similar to China's, with space program, national guard, coast guard, separately listed
According to this analysis of the 2006 budget, US military spending for 2006 is $558bn, plus another $85bn unbudgeted.
  • Current Military, $558B:Military Personnel $109B, Operation and Maintenance $154B, Procurement $81B, Research and Development $68B, Construction $7B, Family Housing $4B, Retired Pay $46B, DoE Nuclear Weapons $17B, NASA (50%) $8B, International Security $8B, Homeland Sec. (50%) $16B, Ex. Off. Pres. $78, Misc. $4B, “Allowance for Anticipated Supplemental” (Iraq) $25B
  • UNBUDGETTED: $85B (est.):Most of the spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not included in the President’s Budget but the Administration has announced it will seek this money as supplemental appropriations later in year as it has in the past two years
  • Past Military, $384B: Veterans’ Benefits $70B; Interest on National Debt (80% estimated to be created by military spending) $314B
US spending is so big anyway, so no one really care about digging this out to compare with China. It is the US tax payers and peace lovers who created the site above. The numbers are all from official numbers, except the interest on Natioal Debt could be lower. But understanding how the numbers break down and what the categories are helps us to understand the hypocrisy of the DoD report.

Perhaps the only adjustment that China needs is to include the Arms Import, which is actually quite transparent itself (China's budget listed them separately mainly because of its forex policy. But that should really be changed.)


Related note: Wu Jianmin, the Dean of Foreign Affair Insititute in China, was interviewed by Xin Jingbao on Japan, Xinjingbao is among the group of liberal media in China (led by Nanfang Weekend), and is recently persecuted by the CCP.
  • "We need to distinguish the right wing from the general public in Japan, the right does not represent all Japanese, we cannot oppose all Japan people because we oppose the right. Regarding Sino-Japanese relationship, we still need to have confidence. From a long term perspective, friendship for generations suit the interests of the two people. President Hu said, it is win-win if China and Japan are in peace, lose-lose if we are in fight."
  • "We need to question the notion that Japan needs to choose between China and US as its strategic partner. Sino-US and Sino-Japan relationships have stand-alone solutions...The mutual benefit between China and US is greater than the differences, [similarly for Japan and China]. They are both evolving and developing. Do you really have to choose one over another?"
  • "Some said we need to be tough on Japan, as it only yields to the strong. This is misled. Being tough on any nation will not work, it won't work even on a child...[I believe] the solution lies in developing mutual interests and hope [for interaction/trust/relationship] between the 2 peoples"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is quite self-serving for us Americans to accuse China of secret military spending, when our own "black budget" (secret military) spending, alone, is likey have exceeded China's entire military budget:


- bobby fletcher