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Japan Seeks Record Defense Budget      08/29 06:13

   TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's Defense Ministry is requesting its biggest ever budget 
to bolster its military ability to defend remote southern islands amid China's 
growing activity in the area.

   The ministry on Friday requested a 5 trillion yen ($48 billion) budget for 
the year beginning April 2015, a 3.5 percent increase from the current year.

   The rise largely comes from purchases of new equipment, including P-1 
surveillance aircraft, F-35 fighter jets and unmanned drones, as well as the 
cost of newly establishing amphibious units to boost island defense.

   The request is based on Japan's new defense guidelines released in December 
allowing its military to play a greater role amid heightened tension with China 
over a cluster of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by both 
countries.


(KA)


 
 
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