From SIPRI’s regular updates on arms transfers:
“Asia and Oceania still the top importing region
Asia and Oceania received 41 per cent of major arms transfers in 2018–22, a slightly smaller share than in 2013–17. Despite the overall decline in transfers to the region, there were marked increases in some states, and marked decreases in others. Six states in the region were among the 10 largest importers globally in 2018–22: India, Australia, China, South Korea, Pakistan and Japan.
Arms imports by East Asian states increased by 21 per cent between 2013–17 and 2018–22. Arms imports by China rose by 4.1 per cent, with most coming from Russia. However, the biggest increases in East Asia were by US treaty allies South Korea (+61 per cent) and Japan (+171 per cent). Australia, the largest arms importer in Oceania, increased its imports by 23 per cent.
‘Growing perceptions of threats from China and North Korea have driven rising demand for arms imports by Japan, South Korea and Australia, notably including for long-range strike weapons,’ said Siemon T. Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘The main supplier for all three is the USA.’
India remains the world’s top arms importer, but its arms imports declined by 11 per cent between 2013–17 and 2018–22. This decline was linked to a complex procurement process, efforts to diversify arms suppliers and attempts to replace imports with local designs. Imports by Pakistan, the world’s eighth largest arms importer in 2018–22, increased by 14 per cent, with China as its main supplier.”