Photo/Illutration Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, receives a report on Nov. 22 from Kenichiro Sasae, a former vice foreign minister who chaired a panel of experts that discussed strengthening national defense. (Koichi Ueda)

A panel of experts is calling for wide-ranging taxes to help pay for bolstering Japan’s defenses, including first-strike capability against enemy bases preparing to launch an attack against Japan.

Kenichiro Sasae, the panel’s chairman who once served as vice foreign minister, presented the recommendations to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Nov. 22.

The panel said the public should shoulder the financial burden as it would constitute a significant strengthening of the nation’s defenses.

The government is planning to bolster its defense capability within the next five years and the report is designed to serve as a basis for that plan.

Japan will also decide on revising three major documents related to defense, including the National Security Strategy, before the year-end. The panel’s recommendations are expected to be reflected in those documents.

The panel, convened in September, is made up of 10 prominent individuals, including former ambassadors to the United States and vice defense ministers.

Kishida created the panel because he wanted an overarching discussion about what Japan needs to do to strengthen its national defense, how much that defense framework would cost and how to pay for it.

The report added that building public infrastructure, such as new ports in the southwestern chain of islands extending from Okinawa Prefecture, as well as research and development efforts, would also help to bolster Japan’s overall defensive posture.