The Japanese government approved a record-high 7.9 trillion yen ($56 billion) defense budget for fiscal 2024 on Friday, as the nation continues to invest in longer-range strike capabilities under a five-year plan to fundamentally revamp its defense posture.

The draft initial budget for the next fiscal year that begins in April jumped 16.5 percent from the previous record-high of 6.8 trillion yen in the current fiscal 2023 and marked an increase for the 12th consecutive year.

The spending plan is in line with a government decision late last year to pour in a combined 43 trillion yen to defense outlays from fiscal 2023 through 2027 amid increasing security challenges from China and Russia, as well as North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

File photo shows a Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile on display during a military parade in Pyongyang in July 2023. (KCNA/Kyodo)

Japan also aims to double its annual security budget to around 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product after long keeping the spending at around 1 percent -- or roughly 5 trillion yen -- in light of its exclusively defense-oriented posture under the postwar pacifist Constitution.

For the fiscal 2024 budget, about 734.0 billion yen was earmarked to develop so-called counterstrike capabilities to hit targets in enemy territory, including missile launch pads, and standoff weapons that can aim at vessels and troops from outside their firing range.

Among the 734 billion yen, 96.1 billion yen was set aside to acquire an upgraded version of the Ground Self-Defense Force's Type-12 land-to-ship guided missile, with an extended range of 1,000 kilometers.

The GSDF will start deploying the missiles in fiscal 2025, a year earlier than originally envisaged.

File photo shows the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer Barry launching a Tomahawk cruise missile in March 2011 from the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo by U.S. Navy/Getty/Kyodo)

More than 80 billion yen will be spent on investing in developing and manufacturing hypersonic-guided missiles, and about 32.3 billion yen will be spent on developing new precision-guided surface-to-ship and surface-to-surface missiles.

About 200 million yen will be used to modify Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers so they can carry Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Japanese government plans to start purchasing 400 Tomahawks, which have a strike range of about 1,600 km, from the United States in fiscal 2025.

To beef up Japan's missile defense capabilities, 373.1 billion yen was allocated to build two additional Aegis destroyers expected to be commissioned in fiscal 2027 and 2028 as an alternative to a ditched plan of deploying the land-based Aegis Ashore system.

Based on an agreement earlier this year with the United States to develop glide phase interceptors, a new type of missile capable of intercepting hypersonic weapons, 75.7 billion yen was appropriated.

In preparation for a contingency near Japan's remote islands stretching southwest from Kyushu toward Taiwan, 565.3 billion yen was secured to enhance capabilities to swiftly send personnel and transport equipment, including procuring three landing crafts.

Two of a new type of frigate, equipped with long-range missiles and enhanced antisubmarine and other capabilities, will also be built, with 174.0 billion yen to be spent in the next fiscal year.

As part of the costs for a plan to co-develop next-generation fighter jets with Britain and Italy by 2035, 64.0 billion yen was earmarked.

In a bid to promote studies for breakthrough defense technologies in Japan, about 822.5 billion yen was appropriated, including for establishing a research institute modeled on the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA.

Related coverage:

Japan eases rules on weapon exports to enhance security ties

Japan ruling party LDP replaces 2 execs amid political fundraising scandal

Japan OKs 112 trillion yen FY 2024 budget, size shrinks as COVID wanes