Kyodo News
May 31, 2022

Japan may need to boost defense costs to 10 tril. yen: think tank

Japan may need to increase its annual defense costs to as much as 10 trillion yen ($80 billion) from the current nearly 6 trillion yen to deal with China’s growing military threat, a Defense Ministry think tank said Tuesday.

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The report came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged to secure a “substantial increase” in Japan’s defense budget at a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden last week to strengthen Tokyo’s defense capabilities and alliance with Washington.

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In April, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party asked Kishida to consider doubling Japan’s defense budget to an amount on par with 2 percent of GDP or more, a numerical target for North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations….

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The institute pointed out that China has been reinforcing its relations with Russia and developing countries to compete against Western nations while putting more military pressure on Japan and Taiwan.

“Due to the escalating confrontation between China-Russia and the United States, the age of ‘great power competition’ has come again,” and Japan “cannot take a stance of onlooker,” the report said.

The think tank also released an additional volume on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It projected that the war will be lengthy, warning that closer ties between Russia and China may “deepen the split not only with the United States but also with the international community.”

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