Having committed to boosting defense spending over the next several years amid escalating geopolitical tensions, the government now faces the question of how to fund the extra outlay — and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's suggestion that this could be through tax increases hasn't gone down well, even among Cabinet members and lawmakers from his own party.

In his comments over the weekend, Kishida did not specify which taxes should be raised but mentioned that placing an extra burden on individuals needs to be avoided. Local media have reported that a corporate tax hike is likely to be the main approach.

While Kishida has repeatedly talked about the envisaged defense budget increase, the possibility of tax hikes emerged only in the past week or so, catching some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party off guard.