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Japan Set to Become One of World’s Biggest Defense Spenders

  • Ruling party has called for doubling of defense spending
  • More missiles on shopping list amid China-Taiwan tension
Fumio Kishida
Fumio KishidaPhotographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Japan is set to approve what could be its biggest increase in defense outlays since the end of the war, putting it on a path to become one of the world’s top military spenders.

In a Defense Ministry budget request for fiscal 2023 expected by the end of August, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party is looking to double spending over five years from this year’s 5.4 trillion yen ($39.5 billion). Outlays of that scale could propel Japan from ninth in the world for military spending to a likely third spot behind the US and China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, which tracks defense spending.