Japan: The 1.004% Solution

The 1.004% Solution

The decision did not increase military strength that much, but it was psychologically significant. After an eight-hour meeting of key officials last week, the government of Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone announced that its proposed new budget will raise defense spending to 1.004% of Japan's estimated 1987 gross national product. If adopted by the Diet, the outlays would exceed for the first time the 1% ceiling on defense spending that Japan has observed for the past ten years.

Nakasone's proposal was welcomed by U.S. officials, who have long pressured Japan to spend more on defense and rely less on American protection. At...

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