Fiscal Restraint Versus U.S. Pressures for Greater Defense Efforts
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979 and heightened U.S. pressures for Japan to increase its defense efforts reintensified controversy over defense for the first half of the 1980s. But the discussions were confined largely to considerations of whether to maintain or revise existing defense constraints such as the NDPO or the One Percent of GNP Ceiling. The ruling LDP, confronted with the dilemma of increasing defense spending and augmenting capabilities to offset U.S. pressure, as well as upholding existing constraints to mollify the opposition parties, could at best achieve incremental defense spending increases. Yet political difficulties prevented the attainment of even these defense plans.