Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his defense and finance chiefs to boost defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product by 2027 — a target long sought by the ruling party but now referred to by Kishida as a specific budget figure for the first time.

Kishida outlined his orders to Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki to secure the necessary funds in a meeting late Monday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, Hamada said, adding that Kishida had also stressed that the defense budget “needs to be urgently boosted within five years.”

"Instead of saying we can’t do so due to the lack of financial resources, we need to come up with ways to secure the necessary funds swiftly,” Hamada noted.