The junior partner in Japan's ruling coalition raised doubt on Friday about Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's plan to double defense spending, saying the public would not support such an increase when so many areas of social welfare need resources.

Defense is a divisive issue in Japan, which, as a legacy of World War II, has a pacifist Constitution and an enduring public wariness about entanglement in U.S.-led wars.

Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said in a policy proposal ahead of an Oct. 31 general election that it aimed to raise defense spending towards a target of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP).