TOKYO, January 16. /TASS/. The majority of Japanese nationals are against any kind of tax increases for the sake of boosting defense spending as part of a new national security strategy, suggests a survey published on Monday by the country's largest newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun.
According to the poll, at least 63% of respondents said they were against any kind of tax hike for the sake of defense. Only 28% of the polled Japanese supported the initiative of the government led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. It is worth noting that even among the supporters of the ruling bloc led by the Liberal Democratic Party, just 43% of the surveyed Japanese nationals supported the initiative to raise defense spending, while 49% opposed it. Even among those supporting the need to raise defense spending, 40% opposed the idea of raising taxes for this purpose.
The nationwide poll was conducted between January 13 and 15, with 1,517 people over the age of 18 taking part.
According to the NHK TV channel, members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided to hold a special committee meeting on January 19 amid negative reactions from citizens of the country. It will consider non-tax-related financial sources to increase defense spending. Meanwhile, the prospect of higher taxes also met with disapproval in the ruling party itself, NHK noted.
In December 2022, the Japanese government approved a new national security strategy. This basic Japanese document spelled out Japan’s right to launch counterstrikes against targets on a potential enemy’s territory, but rules out any preemptive strikes.