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Japanese Society Opposes Government's Push For Military Build-Up

© AFP 2023 / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURAJapanese Ground Self-Defense Force type-92 anti-mine rocket launcher
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force type-92 anti-mine rocket launcher  - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.12.2022
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to drastically increase his nation's defense budget but apparently faces challenge in selling the idea to his own citizens.
Roughly 65% of Japanese disapprove of Prime Minister`s Fumio Kishida plan to raise taxes in order to cover growing defense budget, a poll by local media shows. Only 30% support the idea, according to the survey.
The Japanese people especially disapproved of the idea of partially diverting funds from rebuilding the regions hit by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011 to defense budget. The poll shows that 74.5% of citizens were against this plan.
Meanwhile, the approval rating for the government remains at 33.1% which has a disapproval rating of 51.5%.
On Friday, PM Kishida announced a $320 billion military spending plan. The Japanese government appears to be preparing the country for any possible conflict, citing fears of a military clash fueled by North Korea's missile tests. To beef up his country's military, Kishida plans to secure funds through hiking corporate taxes and increasing the tobacco tax.
The prime minister has claimed that Japan was at a “turning point in history” and that the military buildup is his "answer to the various security challenges" that Tokyo faces. Economists point out that Kishida`s tax plan would make Japan the third-biggest military spender in the world after the US and China.
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