Japan Mulls Counting Coast Guard Budgets as Defense Spending

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering adopting the NATO standard on calculating defense expenditures, which calls for counting coast guard budgets and other security-related costs as part of defense spending, it was learned Tuesday.

The move comes as Japan aims to drastically strengthen its defense capabilities within five years while referring to NATO countries' efforts to secure defense outlays equal to at least 2 pct of gross domestic product.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed a considerable increase in defense spending. The government is rushing to make coordination on the matter toward the year-end.

Japan's defense spending in fiscal 2021 came to around 1.09 pct of GDP under its current criteria but would have reached 1.24 pct under the NATO standard, coming closer to Germany's 1.49 pct.

"It's important to regard defense power as national power that includes economic and other strengths," Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said at a press conference on Tuesday.

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