The government and the ruling parties are frantically hunting for financial resources to cover the planned increase in defense spending, with one proposal being to use the special tax designed to finance reconstruction costs for areas affected by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The special income tax for reconstruction adds a 2.1% levy to individual income tax through 2037, generating about ¥400 billion ($2.9 billion) in revenue for the government each year. The plan is to use a total of ¥200 billion from the tax revenue for defense spending.

Policymakers are also considering extending the 2037 deadline for the tax by another 20 years to make sure there are enough funds.