Monday, June 17, 2024

Japan’s Parliament enacts law to create defence funds pool

Japan’s Diet, the country’s parliament, has enacted into law a bill to create a pool of funds to cover part of a substantial increase in defence spending.

The bill was approved on Friday by a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors despite attempts by major opposition parties to block it, enabling the government to set aside non-tax revenues for multiyear use, Xinhua news agency reported.

The legislation stipulates creating a fund within the government’s general account to boost Japan’s defence spending from non-tax revenue including that from sales of state properties, money created through spending reform and surplus from financial results.

The legislation is an integral part of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plan to increase total defence spending to about 43 trillion yen ($305 billion) through fiscal 2027.

The opposition camp has criticised Kishida for focusing on the size of defence spending rather than its substance, adding that the government’s defence budget increase plan is still based on the assumption of raising taxes.

Lawmaker Shinichi Shiba of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan on Friday criticised the government for being irresponsible and the plan for being misleading, as if it is trying to give the appearance that there will be no new taxation to cover the defence spending increase.



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