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An annual policy plan outlining the government’s mid- to long-term vision for Japan was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, but it did not specifically mention a hotly debated defense spending figure of 2% of gross domestic product — despite a ruling party recommendation that the number be included.

However, the 2023 basic economic and fiscal policy guidelines — known as "honebuto no hōshin," or literally “big-boned policy outline” — did mention the government’s plans to bolster Japan’s defense capabilities over a period of five years, a timeline that aligned with earlier recommendations by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

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