Japan citizens oppose government plans to increase taxes to fund $320 billion military expansion

The majority of Japanese citizens are against the government raising taxes to fund the nation’s military expansion. On Sunday, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that as per its survey, more than 60 per cent of the people are against the decision.

The plan is part of a $320 billion military spending announced by Japan. On Friday, the nation announced that it will buy missiles that are capable of striking China. 

Watch | Japan unveils new national security plan, passes $320 billion military plan

Kishida government’s five-year plan will make Japan the world’s third biggest military spender after the US and China.

The goal is to ready Japan for any sustained battle as conflicts rage in the neighbourhood, like the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Tokyo’s western neighbour, China’s claim over Taiwan and the unprecedented number of missile tests by North Korea, stoke fears of war.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the tax hike by his government would not come into force in the coming financial year. 

While the tax hike would not begin on April 1, his government will raise taxes in stages towards fiscal 2027 to secure the funding the nation needs to boost its defence budget.

Kishida said that Japan was at a “turning point in history” and that the military expansion through cost-cutting and tax hikes was his “answer to the various security challenges that we face”.

However, the Kyodo survey found that around 65 per cent of those surveyed were against the proposed tax increases for military spending, and about 87 per cent thought that the PM’s reasoning for the tax increases was not good enough.

The poll also revealed that support for Kishida’s government was at 33.1 per cent, the lowest level it has been at since the beginning of October last year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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