In response to criticism that the funding plans for his signature policies are half-baked, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that raising taxes to cover a defense budget increase while cutting income tax to lower the impact of rising prices is not a contradiction.

“Reinforcing defense capabilities to protect the lives of people needs permanent (financial resources),” Kishida told a Lower House Budget Committee session. “An (income tax cut) is a temporary measure until wages increase to a level that can cover rising prices.

“The two policies don’t contradict each other,” he said.