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Secretary Esper calls on allies to increase defense budget 

Yomiuri and Asahi took up a speech made by Secretary of Defense Esper on Tuesday during which he asked NATO members, Japan, and other U.S. allies to boost their defense spending to more than 2% of their GDP. “There can be no free riders to our common security,” he was quoted as saying. Asahi speculated that Secretary Esper’s remark may have an impact on the upcoming talks between Washington and Tokyo on Japan’s host nation support for the U.S. military. 

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