71% in favor of strengthening defense capabilities

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the government’s expert panel to comprehensively discuss national defense capabilities in Tokyo on Friday.

Results of a nationwide opinion poll conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun show that 71% of respondents were in favor of Japan strengthening its defense capabilities, far more than the 21% who were opposed to any measures.

In similar polling conducted both by telephone and mail since 2017, support for defense increases has remained in the 60-70% range.

When those who answered “in favor” of increased defense were asked about how to fund the measures, 43% of respondents answered “issuing government bonds,” the most popular choice, followed by 30% who answered “cutting other budgets such as social security” and “raising taxes” by 20%.

Across three age groups, slightly over 40% of all respondents chose “issuing government bonds” as the best funding method. However, the results for “cutting other budgets, such as social security,” depended on the age of the respondents: 38% of those aged 18-39, 28% of those aged 40-59, and 24% of those aged 60 and older.

At the government’s expert panel to comprehensively discuss the increase of national defense capabilities, one of the points of contention is the financial resources required.

The Yomiuri Shimbun