Kishida Vows to Decide Tax Hike for Defense Spending by Year-End

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that he aims to decide by year-end on securing stable financial resources, including a tax hike, to cover a planned increase in defense spending.

Kishida said that he is "strongly resolved" to set forth how the country should enhance its defense capabilities, as well as the defense budget and how to finance the increase in defense outlays. He said he will "decisively show" these as the state's commitment both at home and abroad.

"It's necessary to secure (stable) financial resources for maintaining and reinforcing (defense capabilities)," Kishida told a press conference held after the extraordinary parliamentary session that kicked off in early October ended on the day.

But he added, "After making every effort to secure financial resources, we would eventually have no choice but to ask the public to bear a certain amount of burden," suggesting that it would be necessary to raise taxes even if the government takes measures such as thorough spending reform.

Still, the prime minister said that the timing for starting to increase taxes will be decided "flexibly." The government aims to cover some 1 trillion yen in defense spending growth with tax increases as of fiscal 2027. By that time, it plans to consider raising taxes in stages.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press