A total of 80% of respondents to a Kyodo News poll said they are against possible tax hikes to finance Japan's substantial defense buildup plan, despite an overwhelming majority expressing concern about China potentially taking military action against Taiwan, the survey showed Saturday.

The poll, carried out by mail from March to April, showed that while the Japanese public sees a need to boost the country's defense capabilities to some extent due to a deteriorating security environment, they are reluctant about increasing defense spending considerably or financing them through taxes.

In the survey, only 19% showed support for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's call to finance a portion of defense spending by taxes, with the government deciding in December to boost defense spending by more than 50% to ¥43 trillion ($319 billion) in five years from fiscal 2023.