Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will call for a sharp rise in defence spending in its election manifesto to be unveiled ahead of an Oct. 31 general election, a draft of the policy platform showed on Friday.
Delivering his first policy speech to parliament, new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who leads the LDP, said on Friday he was determined to protect Japan’s territory and its people in an increasingly tough security environment.
Japan faces China’s rapid military build-up and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
The LDP aims to raise the defence budget, which has been about 1% of gross domestic product in recent decades, “with an eye on bringing it even above two percent”, the party said in a draft of the manifesto reviewed by Reuters.
The LDP will promote measures to enhance Japan’s deterrence including acquiring the capability to intercept ballistic missiles within enemy territory, according to the draft of the manifesto, which will be unveiled next week.
On the response to the coronavirus, the party aims to see that everyone who wants a vaccination can get one by early November, while making preparations for booster shots.