Japan set to scrap defense spending cap

At the end of the Second World War, Japan occupied by American forces was endowed with a constitution hastily drafted by the plenipotentiary services of Washington under the strict control of General MacArthur. What followed was a very restrictive constitution regarding the country's defense capabilities. Unlike Federal Germany, which in the mid-50s obtained the green light from Washington, London and Paris to increase its defense effort within the framework of NATO, to become in a few years the largest conventional armed force of the old continent, the Japanese self-defense forces remained contained in an investment effort strictly limited to less than 1% of the country's GDP, it is true in a geopolitical context much less intense in the Pacific than in Europe in the face of the Soviet Union during this period, and which was all the more difficult for Moscow to manage when Washington and Beijing undertook a strategic rapprochement in the early 70s.

Unlike European countries, and under the influence of the late Prime Minister Shinzo, the country undertook, from the end of the 2000s, to increase its defense spending and modernize its self-defense forces, so as to in the face of the deterioration of the security context in the Indo-Pacific theatre, in particular due to the rapid modernization of the Chinese armed forces, but also the threat represented by the North Korean nuclear and ballistic programme. However, if the budget allocated to the Japanese self-defense forces grew by almost 20% between 2015 and 2022, now reaching $50 billion, it remained capped by the threshold established at 1% of the country's GDP by its parliament. . It is precisely this limit that will be removed from 2023, according to confidences collected by the Reuters Agency. Thus, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would currently lead the final arbitrations in order to lift this ceiling, and allow Japan to increase its defense effort to 2% of its GDP, over the next 5 years.

The flag of the Japanese self-defense forces is inspired by the Kyokujitsuki, the flag of the Japanese empire representing a rising sun, but is only composed of 8 branches, against 16 for the Kyokujitsuki.

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