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January 27
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed ministers to double defense spending to about 2 percent of GDP over five years to counter China's growing assertiveness in the region. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said this, according to Reuters.

"Given the present security situation, we need to strengthen defence spending urgently in five years," Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters after a meeting with the premier and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki. "...He told us to make every effort in securing necessary (funding) quickly and firmly," he said.

To match the size of Japan's medium-term defense plan, which is due by the end of the year, the government will decide to secure funding through both revenue and expenditure reforms. "As a responsible nation, we must make the utmost efforts in spending reform, but at the same time steady funding sources are indispensable in order to stably support them," Hamada quoted Kishida as saying.

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