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Why a record budget is just the first step to boost Japan's defense

Nation can learn from Israel about how self-reliance can lessen U.S. dependence

A Japanese Self-Defense Force tank takes part in a training exercise near Mount Fuji. 

TOKYO -- Japan's security policy will undergo a radical change in 2023 as it starts enhancing defense on a scale unprecedented since the end of World War II in response to serious challenges facing the nation.

Under a plan announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Japan's defense ministry budget for the five years through fiscal 2027 will total 43 trillion yen ($324 billion) -- 57% more than under the current five-year plan. If outlays for the Japan Coast Guard and other defense-related infrastructure and ministries are included, overall defense spending will rise to about 2% of the nation's gross domestic product by fiscal 2027 -- the same amount NATO demands of its members.

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