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Indo-Pacific

Abe leads charge for Japan to boost defense spending to 2% of GDP

Ex-U.S. Adm. Davidson repeats warning of China moving on Taiwan in next 5 years

Japan's Yuubari destroyer test-fires an antisubmarine missile during a fleet review in Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- With war raging in Ukraine and tensions rising in East Asia, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that Japan will become a "laughing stock" if it doesn't lift its defense budget in line with NATO countries. 

"Every NATO country, without exception, has agreed to raise its defense budget to 2% of GDP," the hawkish ex-leader said in a speech on Thursday at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo. "If Japan says it won't raise its budget much, everyone will be surprised."

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