Japan Unveils $320B Military Development

    Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via The Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, Japan announced a five-year $320B package to build up its military — the largest of its kind since World War II and a significant departure from its pacifist stance.

    • The new plan will reportedly include an increased defense budget of 2% of GDP by 2027, up from about the current 1%. Based on the current GDP, annual spending could reach approximately $80B, ranking Japan third out of the top three countries, behind the US and China.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    Japan, which holds the largest permanent contingent of US forces overseas, can no longer solely rely on US support — a fact that this latest plan acknowledges. The new strategy fortifies the US and Japan's vigor and will reshape their ability to promote peace and protect the Indo-Pacific region as China attempts to exert its influence.

    Pro-China narrative

    Japan is groundlessly discrediting China. By adopting this new policy, Japan is putting itself on a more offensive footing, and deviating from its commitment to China-Japan relations and the common understanding between the two countries. But hyping-up the so-called China threat to find an excuse for its military build-up is doomed to fail.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 62% chance that Japan Self-Defense Forces will have tested a Tomahawk missile by mid-2027, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

    Establishment split



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