Japan.- 80 percent of the population rejects tax hike to increase military spending

Archive – Pedestrians in Tokyo, Japan – Europa Press/Contacto/Stanislav Kogiku

Eighty percent of the Japanese population would be against raising taxes to finance a substantial increase in military spending such as that proposed by the government, according to a survey by the Kyodo News agency.

In general, the population does support improving the country’s defense resources, but only 19 percent support Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plan to finance part of this spending with tax increases.

In December Kishida announced a more than 50 percent increase in military spending to 43 trillion yen (almost 289 billion euros) within five years and thus reach a military expenditure of 2 percent of GDP by 2027.

Nearly 60 percent of the population considers the plan »not appropriate» and 88 percent believe Kishida’s justification is »insufficient.»

When asked about the main reason for their rejection of the tax hike for military spending, 48 percent say »because people cannot bear more taxes.

On the possibility of a Chinese offensive action against Taiwan, 53 percent say they are »extremely worried» and 36 percent say they are »somewhat worried».

As for the desirable response by Japan in the event of an invasion of Taiwan, 56 percent advocate diplomatic demarches and non-military measures, such as economic sanctions. Thirty-three percent believe Japan should provide logistical support to the United States if it defends the island.

On the other hand, 61 percent support the government’s decision to acquire a counter-strike capability to attack targets inside enemy territory as Tokyo seeks to gain deterrence power. However, 36 percent of the population is against it and 60 percent believe it contributes to an arms race with neighboring countries.

The survey is based on 1,959 interviews with people aged 18 and over conducted between March 7 and April 17.