• Japan’s government approved a major defence policy overhaul on Friday, including a significant spending hike, as it warned China poses the “greatest strategic challenge ever” to its security.
  • In its largest defence shake-up in decades, Japan vowed to increase security spending to 2% of GDP by 2027, reshape its military command, and acquire new missiles that can strike far-flung enemy launch sites.
  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference he was “determined to remain resolute in our mission to protect and defend the nation and its people, at this turning point in history”.
  • “In our neighbouring countries and regions, the strengthening of nuclear missile capabilities, rapid military build-up and attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force have become even more pronounced,” he said, evoking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an example of the changing times.
  • Polls suggest Japan’s public largely backs the shift, but the changes could still be controversial because Japan’s post-war Constitution does not officially recognise the military and limits it to nominally self-defensive capabilities.
  • The moves are outlined in three defence and security documents approved by the cabinet on Friday.
  • They describe Beijing as “the greatest strategic challenge ever to securing the peace and stability of Japan”, as well as a “serious concern” for Japan and the international community.


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