Kyodo News
April 27, 2022

Japan’s ruling LDP asks gov’t to double defense budget

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to consider doubling the country’s defense budget to an amount on par with 2 percent or more of its gross domestic product….

A set of proposals finalized by the ruling party last week, calling also for the development by the Self-Defense Forces of counterstrike abilities aimed at disabling enemy weapons, will serve as a basis for the government to update the National Security Strategy by the end of the year.

The LDP’s push to allow Japan to fire upon and disable enemy missiles before launch from foreign territory and target command centers remains controversial given the country has long held an exclusively self-defense-oriented security policy position under its war-renouncing Constitution.

Kishida, also the LDP leader, said his party will need to discuss the policy review with its junior coalition partner Komeito….

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“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. In a situation that can be said to be the greatest (current) crisis for the international community, we must drastically strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said upon receiving the proposals earlier in the day.

With the defense spending target of more than 2 percent of GDP for North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations in mind, the ruling party has said Japan should aim to increase its spending to reach a level necessary to fundamentally reinforce defense capabilities in five years.

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In the recommendations submitted to the government, the LDP also called for the relaxation of restrictions on arms exports.

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Japan Tines
April 27, 2022

LDP proposal heralds big changes for Japan’s security policies

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday submitted to the government its proposal for revising Japan’s most important defense and diplomacy documents, including its National Security Strategy, in a move that could signal big changes ahead for the country’s security policies.

The proposal, which aims to drastically revise three key documents — the National Security Strategy (NSS), National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the Medium-Term Defense Force Buildup Program (MTDP) — amid what it calls Japan’s “increasingly severe” security environment, was submitted to Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and later Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The revision of the NSS would be the first since it was originally approved by the Cabinet in late 2013.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. In a situation that can be said to be the greatest (current) crisis for the international community, we must drastically strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities,” Kishi said Wednesday.

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Perhaps most crucially, the proposal recommends a doubling of defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product — 1% has long been an unspoken rule — over five years. Such a move would put it on par with spending by NATO countries and help pay for the costs of new capabilities.