Japan's level of defense expenditure relative to the size of its economy has long been uniquely low among the major industrialized countries. As of 1995, Japan's expenditures stood at 0.96 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Even adding to this the approximately 0.3 percent of GDP devoted to pensions for retired personnel, the level of spending is considerably less than that of major Western states such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as well as industrialized Asian states such as South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Furthermore, these relative magnitudes have remained reasonably stable over the past few decades.
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