Some Experts Urge Raising Defense Budget to 2 Pct of GDP: Minutes

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 1 (Jiji Press)--Some experts called on the Japanese government to increase the defense budget to around 2 pct of the country's gross domestic product in five to 10 years, the minutes of defense policy meetings held since January showed Thursday.

The government was gathering opinions from experts ahead of the planned revisions of the so-called three documents--the national security strategy, the basic defense program and midterm defense buildup plans--at the end of the year.

A majority of experts voiced opinions in favor of a substantial rise in defense spending proposed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with one expert saying that "around 2 pct (of GDP) is appropriate, considering various factors" and another suggesting that the government "keep increasing defense-related expenditures and review rules limiting the number of Self-Defense Force personnel."

Many experts backed the idea of allowing the country to acquire counterstrike capabilities, saying only having missile defense systems is "insufficient" and that the country needs to become able to "directly diminish the enemy's missile-firing capabilities."

Meanwhile, dissenting experts demanded that "priority be placed on improving missile defense" and other existing capabilities, the minutes also said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press