Japan has proposed a scheme to significantly increase its military spending budget.

For many years, the US and Japanese governments have tried to increase defense spending in Japan. Under the command of former President Donald Trump, NATO members were encouraged to fulfill the 2 percent defense expenditure protocol. Japan, though not a NATO member state, has always held a strong bond with the alliance. In June, Kishida, a Japanese leader, attended the NATO partner summit for the first time. Still, more money and better coordination do not always lead to enhanced military forces. As one analyst stated, the “triumphant declarations” regarding the expansion have obscured the challenging task Kishida and Japan will face when attempting to implement the proposed growth.

This week, US representatives promised their assistance to Japan’s schemes to speed up their defense spending in light of the rising tensions with China and North Korea after some decades of limited expenditure since World War II. Nevertheless, the support of the US and other allies notwithstanding, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plan to transform their Self-Defence Forces into an army to counter the threats from their neighboring nations will hinge on the Japanese people’s acceptance to pay and staff the growth. 

Japan’s new security stance will upraise the nation’s military budget by 56%, from about 27.47 trillion yen over five years to about 43 trillion yen (equivalent to $215 billion to $324 billion as of the market close on Friday). Historically, Japan has kept its safety spending low because of its constitutional pledge to abstain from war, though they possess a defense budget and have been maintaining the Self-Defence Forces since 1954. US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin met with their Japanese counterparts in the past week, putting into action the new postures laid out in Japan’s new approach.