May 23, 2022 15:48 GMT
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The war in Ukraine has hastened a shift in Japan for reevaluating defence spending much like the war influenced NATO membership appeal in Sweden and Finland.
- According to Japan Today: '43.1 percent voters now support the idea that the government increase its defense budget 'to some extent.'
- Last month, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party asked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to consider doubling the annual defence budget to 2% in line with the NATO baseline spending.
- Japan has a formally pacifist constitution which caps its defense budget at around 1% of GDP and former Prime Minster Shinzo Abe warned that Japan will become a 'laughing stock' if the defence budget isn't increased.
- It is possible the Kishida will give an indication of the defence plans at the Quad leaders summit in Tokyo tomorrow.
- Bloomberg: 'Kishida is expected to use the summit to announce plans to spend more on defense, though targets may be vague. Former Pentagon officials say the proposals to double the military budget in five years aren’t going be fast enough.'
- Bloomberg: 'Biden should push Kishida to lay out significantly more. With popular opinion having swung in favor of boosting defense spending, Kishida has cover to wake the country out of its pacifist slumber.'