Kishida Vows to Fully Explain Tax Hikes for Defense Spending


Washington, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday vowed to work thoroughly at the upcoming regular session of the Diet, the country's parliament, to gain understanding for his government's plan to raise taxes for funds to cover an envisaged hike in defense spending.

"Through active discussions with opposition parties at the Diet, I want to give full explanations to the public about specific measures to reinforce our country's defense capabilities as well as the defense budget and necessary financial resources," he told a press conference in Washington. The regular Diet session is set to begin on Jan. 23.

On the diplomatic front, Kishida said that he hopes to keep in close communication with the South Korean government to restore the soured bilateral relationship back to a healthy state and develop it further based on the two countries' friendship since their diplomatic normalization in 1965.

The Japan-South Korea relations have deteriorated sharply due to the issue of South Koreans requisitioned to work for Japanese companies during World War II and other problems.

Kishida avoided commenting on the South Korean government's recent announcement of a plan for a domestic public benefit foundation to pay compensation over the wartime labor issue on behalf of Japanese companies involved.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press