LDP members talk ways to pay Japan defense budget increase

Big changes to Japan's defense policy are in the works, and they come with a big price tag. Now, a committee tasked with finding ways to pay those costs has met for the first time. Lawmakers of the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party say they are exploring several options -- not just tax hikes.

LDP Policy Research Council Chairperson Hagiuda Koichi said, "We should hold responsible discussions on the financial resources so our efforts to boost our defense capabilities won't just be pie in the sky."

The government plans to boost its defense budget to 2 percent of Japan's GDP in fiscal 2027. It's earmarking 315 billion dollars in spending for the next 5 fiscal years.

Last month, lawmakers of the ruling coalition agreed to fund a quarter of that through tax increases.

About 60 LDP lawmakers met Thursday to discuss that.

Some said the matter has already been decided. Others argued against any tax hikes, saying the money should come from government bonds instead. They say that could include extending the redemption period of those bonds, which is currently 60 years.