Defence in the Media: 28 December 2016

Defence news today includes coverage of the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour, and reporting on funding for the Armed Forces.

Pearl Harbour

Broadcast news today included coverage of the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour, the first by a Japanese leader. Coverage reflects that this follows a visit to Hiroshima by President Obama, the first by a serving US President, in May.

Armed Forces

The Telegraph, The Times and The Sun write that there are ‘secret preparations’ being made by the Armed Forces for Defence cuts. The papers quote senior defence sources, who claim that there is not enough money available for spending commitments made in last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review, making new cuts necessary.

An MOD spokesperson said:

We spend more on defence than any other country in Europe, exceed NATO’s 2% target and have a budget set to hit £40 billion a year by the end of the Parliament as we invest £178 billion in equipment over the next decade.

Russian submarines

The i front page carries a story on Russian submarines in UK waters, placing focus on the Armed Forces' capability to monitor increased Russian patrols near the British coastline.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said:

The Royal Navy maintains a vigilant watch in international and territorial waters and is always ready to keep Britain safe from potential threats. We do not comment on operational detail for obvious security reasons.

Libor funding

The Sun reports that the SAS and SBS have had to ‘beg millions in charity hand-outs’ to fund rehabilitation and nursing centres.

An MOD spokesperson said:

It is only right that military charities and organisations continue to be supported by the proceeds of Libor fines. This government has introduced a range of measures to improve the welfare of the armed forces family and the care of current and former personnel remains a priority for Defence with a wide range of funding available.

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