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U.S. defense chief urges Japan, other allies to increase defense spending

Jiji spotlighted Secretary of Defense Esper’s speech at the RAND Corporation on Wednesday, during which he called for U.S. allies, including Japan, to boost their military spending to higher than 2% of their GDP in order to better prepare to compete with China and Russia. The top U.S. defense official reportedly stressed the importance of maintaining military superiority over China in partnership with U.S. allies, adding: “We urge you to increase your defense spending to at least 2% of GDP…. to achieve our shared goals – that is, to protect our mutual interests, preserve our security, and defend our common values.”

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