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Defense Minister Kishi hints at removing Japan’s 1% GDP cap on defense spending 

  • May 20, 2021
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei led with its one-on-one interview on Wednesday with Defense Minister Kishi, during which he indicated a plan to increase Japan’s defense spending without concern for its long-standing limit of 1% of GDP. The defense minister said Japan will use the increased spending to beef up the defense of the Senkaku Islands and new domains such as space and cyber space. “We must increase our defense capabilities at a radically different pace than in the past,” Kishi said. He added: “We will properly allocate the funding we need to protect our nation” without concern for its percent of GDP. The paper claimed that Kishi’s remarks came as a result of the U.S.-Japan summit in April, after which Japan confirmed in a joint statement with the United States its resolve to bolster its own national defense capabilities to further strengthen the alliance and regional security. The paper wrote that the document was the first joint leaders’ statement by the two countries to mention Taiwan in 52 years and that there are growing views that a contingency in Taiwan would be directly related to the defense of the Senkakus. 

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