Japan unveiled on Friday a new national security plan that will signal the country’s biggest military buildup since World War II. The buildup will double defense spending in the country in the face of growing threats from rivals in the region. In a televised address in Tokyo, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government approved three security documents. The National Defense Strategy, the National Security Strategy and the Defense Force Development Plan were all approved to increase Japan’s defense capabilities.
The approved measures would enable Japan to have the ability to counterstrike, to directly attack another country;s territory in the event of an emergency. Japan’s defense budget is expected to increase to 2% of the current GDP in 2027. The new defense initiatives bend the interpretation of Japan’s post-World War II constitution which puts constraints on its Self-Defense Forces, so that they can only be used to defend Japan. The increase in military measures in Japan is occurring as long-time rival China has been growing its naval and air forces in areas near Japan. North Korea and Russia have also been building up their militaries in areas close to Japan. Tokyo has stated that any new long-range weapons it may acquire would only be used if another country first attacked Japan, they would not be used to strike first.