Japan intends to increase the country's five-year defense budget up to 43 trillion yen ($318 billion), media reported on Friday
The government is considering allocating at least 40 trillion yen for defense, while striving to reach the level of 43 trillion yen, the Kyodo news agency reported. The final decision will be made next week.
Initially, the Japanese Defense Ministry insisted on 48 trillion yen, but conceded and lowered the amount to 43 trillion yen, the agency reported. The Finance Ministry demanded the amount be reduced to 35 trillion yen, but then said was ready to negotiate raising it to 40 trillion yen. Thus, the defense budget will range between 40-43 trillion yen, according to Kyodo.
On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reportedly instructed his ministers to raise the annual defense and other related budgets to 2% of the country's GDP by 2027. Military spending for the fiscal year ending in March 2023 amounted to 5.4 trillion yen.
The defense ministry reportedly plans to boost the budget for the next fiscal year that starts in April 2023 to a record-high of 5.595 trillion yen, while some experts believe that defense spending will approach 6.5 trillion yen. The ministry aims to increase the budget in each subsequent fiscal year in order to eventually reach the mark of 2% of GDP, according to Kyodo.