Saturday, June 3, 2023

Most Japanese oppose tax hikes to fund military expansion – Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Most Japanese people do not support raising taxes to fund military expansion, Kyodo said on Sunday, citing a poll conducted after the government announced Japan’s largest military build-up since World War II. Told.

Japan on Friday announced plans for $320 billion in military spending to buy missiles capable of striking China and prepare the country for any continued conflict, as missile tests by North Korea in nearby, Taiwan hit China. and fear of an invasion of Ukraine by Japan’s western neighbor Russia stoked war.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said this month that his government would not raise taxes for the next fiscal year starting April 1, but would raise them toward fiscal 2027 to secure funding to boost the defense budget. Will increase in phases.

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

About 65% of respondents to Kyodo’s poll opposed raising taxes for military spending, while 87% said Kishida’s explanation of the need to raise taxes was insufficient.

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The poll also showed that support for Kishida’s administration was unchanged from a month earlier at 33.1%, the worst since it began in October last year.

The government’s five-year tax plan, once unimaginable in pacifist Japan, would make the country the world’s third-biggest military spender behind the United States and China, based on current budgets.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters,

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