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‘Just A Beginning By Kishida Government, Needs To Be Followed Year In And Year Out’

NEW DELHI: On ‘The Gist‘, Tomohiko Taniguchi, Former Special Advisor to Japan’s Ex-Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s Cabinet and Professor, International political economy and Japan’s strategic diplomacy at Keio University Graduate School of System Design and Management in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took office in October. Last week, his Cabinet approved a $6.8 billion request for an extra defence budget through March to speeden up the purchase of missiles, anti-submarine rockets and other weapons. The record request will bring Japan’s military spending for the current year to a new high of more than $53.2bn, up 15 percent from 2020. In this interview, Professor Taniguchi notes, “Japan has got to do even more. The standard accepted by European nations is to aim at 2% of the GDP as regards to defense spending. Japan has yet to do more to achieve that goal. The motivation is self evident. Over the last 30 years, the People’s Republic of China has increased its defense budget by 42 times. We are looking at a country that is getting stronger at a unprecedented speed, that no one has ever seen in the history of mankind. Japan needs to do much more. And the incremental steps that you have just seen coming out from the Kishida administration, I think is just a beginning to be followed year in and year out.” On November 30, the man he advised as Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, was also very pointed, telling a Taiwanese think tank, the Institute for National Policy Research that Japan and the U.S could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this.