Japan's defense budget will go by 5.200 trillion yen to 6.500 trillion of yen (about 47 billion dollars) in fiscal year 2023. This is anticipated by government sources quoted by the Kyodo news agency, according to which the substantial increase in appropriations is the first step towards increasing Japanese military spending to 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), in line with NATO countries. As early as next week, the conservative governing coalition is expected to present a tax reform proposal to finance the increase in the defense budget, which should be based, among other things, on a gradual increase in corporate and tobacco taxes starting in 2024 .
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida. intends to increase the national defense budget for 2023-2027 to about 43 trillion yen ($318 billion), an increase of more than 50 percent over the current five-year spending plan. The increase of about 27.400 trillion yen compared to originally planned reflects the deterioration of the regional security framework, and the growing threats posed by China and North Korea. This week the Japanese premier once again discussed the issue with Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada. The immediate challenge remains raising additional funding resources, as Japan's fiscal health is already the worst among the major industrialized economies today, with public debt more than double its gross domestic product. There are also those in Japan who claim that such a macroscopic increase in the defense budget risks triggering hostile reactions from the main regional adversaries, leading to a worsening of the regional security framework, rather than stabilizing it.
Japan intends to purchase 400-500 cruise missiles from the United States Tomahawk to address the growing security risks in the Indo-Pacific region. The US newspaper "Washington Post" writes it, according to which the operation is part of a broader plan to strengthen Tokyo's defense capabilities which is unprecedented in the post-war period. Japan's goal is to equip itself with a conventional deterrence force in the face of China's military ambitions and North Korea's threats. However, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is also pushing Tokyo towards a more assertive defense policy, underlines the newspaper. “Japan wanted to limit its defense spending and avoid the purchase of attack weapon systems. However, the international situation does not allow us to do so,” commented former Japanese ambassador to Washington Ichiro Fujisaki. The Tomahawk missiles have a range of over 1.600 kilometers and, installed in Japan, would be capable of hitting targets in Chinese territory.
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