A joint defense panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday approved a draft proposal for the government to "drastically" increase the country's defense budget in the face of the increased security threat posed by China in the East and South China seas.

The move seeking a rise in the budget comes as neighboring countries including China are increasing their defense budgets and NATO has set a target for its members to spend at least 2% of gross domestic product on defense, according to the proposal.

Japan's defense budget has long amounted to around 1% of the country's GDP, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Its defense spending in fiscal 2020 totaled ¥5.31 trillion ($48.8 billion), accounting for 0.9% of the country's GDP.