ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Japan election

Japan PM candidate Takaichi backs doubling defense budget to 2% GDP

Goal to raise ratio in line with European powers will cost $45bn

Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Blue Impulse airplanes: Sanae Takaichi, a candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency, supports doubling Japan's defense spending. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Defense)

TOKYO -- Japanese prime minister candidate Sanae Takaichi said Friday she was willing to roughly double the nation's defense spending to match the level of many Western nations. 

"If we were to bring [the spending] in line with the West, it would be 2% of the GDP, or around 10 trillion yen ($91 billion)," Takaichi told reporters inside the parliament building.

Japan's Ministry of Defense has requested spending in excess of 5.4 trillion yen for the fiscal year starting April 2022. The government has long maintained a ceiling on defense spending to 1% of the gross domestic product.

"Unless we decisively spend money where it is needed, we will not be able to protect Japan," said Takaichi.

PM candidate Sanae Takaichi speaks to reporters at the Diet on Sept. 10 in Tokyo. (Photo by Yuka Furubayashi)

The one-time internal affairs minister launched her bid Wednesday to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party after securing support from Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister. She would be the first woman to serve as Japan's prime minister if she prevails.

Takaichi on Friday also touched on the long-running debate over whether Japan should develop capabilities to strike enemy bases. Discussions have been ongoing since Abe was in power.

"The focus should be on how quickly we can neutralize enemy bases," said Takaichi. Japan should implement legislation that would empower the country to neutralize enemy bases with electromagnetic waves and satellites, Takaichi added.

The defense ministry's budget request raises this fiscal year's initial budget spending by 2.6%. The amount would be 0.97% of fiscal 2022's GDP based on the nominal projection released by the Cabinet Office in July.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more