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SECURITY

Possible increase in Japan’s defense spending being discussed

  • February 1, 2017
  • , Mainichi
  • JMH Summary

Mainichi wrote that there have been growing discussions on a possible increase in Japan’s defense spending following the launch of the Trump administration. The paper speculated that although Japan has maintained a policy of keeping its annual defense budget at less than 1% of its GDP, the ruling LDP may call on the GOJ to increase it if the Trump administration asks Japan to play a greater security role. The paper conjectured that the Ministry of Defense may engage in a tug-of-war with the Finance Ministry in budget request discussions ahead of the development of the 2018 Mid-Term Defense Program. The paper added, however, that increased defense spending could provoke criticism from the opposition parties and the Japanese public because the Abe administration has set a goal of achieving a primary budget surplus in fiscal 2020.

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