Japan's ruling Party to propose increased defense spending

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Japan's ruling Party to propose increased defense spending

TOKYO Kyodo Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party will propose that the government increase its defense spending and increase its defense spending, party members said Thursday. They said that they will push for an amount equivalent to 2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, double the current level.

The proposal for revising the National Security Strategy will also include the idea of possessing the ability to disable an enemy country's missiles, as well as its command and control systems.

The proposal by the party's Research Commission on National Security will be submitted to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida next week so that it can be reflected in the government's review of the long-term guideline by the end of the year.

The proposal for acquiring such an attack capability could cause concerns that the country would deviate from its exclusively defense-oriented policy under the war-renouncing Constitution.

The move comes amid China's growing military clout, at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine and left many wondering what that could mean to the region's security. North Korea's missile test-launch last month has resulted in a renewed focus on the country as a growing missile and nuclear threat.

With a defense spending target of more than 2 percent of GDP for NATO nations in mind, our country aims to realize that the budget meets a level necessary to strengthen defense capabilities in the next five years, according to the draft proposal, referring to the numerical goal of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members.

Japan's defense budget for the current fiscal year ended up at 5.4 trillion yen $42 billion, which is a record high for the eighth year in a row and up 1.1 percent from the previous year's initial budget. The budget has grown for 10 years in a row.

Japan's real GDP for 2021 was 536.79 trillion yen, according to the Cabinet Office.