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“Trump Shock” to embolden Japan, others to increase defense spending

Nikkei’s senior writer Oishi said in a front-page commentary that Japan may be prompted to either increase host nation support for the U.S. military or to spend more for the SDF in view of the election of Donald Trump, who has urged Japan and other U.S. allies to shoulder a greater share of the cost of stationing the U.S. military. Pointing out that the country’s HNS budget peaked in 1999 at about 275 billion yen and dropped to almost 190 billion yen last year, the writer said some Japanese may advocate greater HNS in order to please the incoming Republican government. While projecting that a Trump administration would not put its allies ahead of U.S. interests and that the President-elect would not be impressed by such rhetoric as the U.S. and Japan being bound by common values, the writer wondered if some Japanese politicians, including those close to Prime Minster Abe, as well as other American allies may support greater funding for their own militaries, rather than increasing financial support for American troops. However, the journalist expressed doubts about this approach by saying: “It is doubtful whether world peace can be preserved if more countries choose to expand their own militaries without coordinating with one other.”    

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