Japan's ruling party pledges to boost defense ahead of upper house election

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 17, 2022
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Japan's ruling party on Thursday vowed to "fundamentally" reinforce the country's defense capability and increase spending on it in the next five years, ahead of an upcoming House of Councilors election.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is targeting to roughly double Japan's defense spending to 2 percent or more of the country's gross domestic product.

The goal is hustled as one of the pledges for the upper house election scheduled for July 10.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, head of the LDP, seeks to assess voter confidence in his roughly nine months of government handling amid the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating inflation.

For years under the pacifist Constitution, Japan has been committed to an exclusively defense-oriented policy, limiting its defense spending to around 1 percent of the country's GDP, or over 5 trillion yen (37 billion dollars) in the fiscal 2022 budget.

Kishida said Wednesday the upcoming election will provide voters with an opportunity to decide how Japan will cope with "history-making" challenges.

While the LDP set a specific target for defense spending, its coalition partner Komeito and the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan did not include it in their campaign pledges, upholding the view that substance instead of size is the most important.

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