Japan Approves Extra Defense Spending and Sets a Record

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By Chieko Tsuneoka
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TOKYO — Japan’s cabinet has approved an increase in defense spending, which for the first time will bring the annual total to more than 6 trillion yen, the equivalent of $53 billion, while responding to US requests for China’s rapid military expansion and upgrades.

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The move makes Tokyo’s defense budget for the current fiscal year equal to 1.14% of the previous fiscal year’s GDP, well above the unofficial guideline of 1% of GDP that has been typically seen in recent decades.

Defense officials said the spending would be used to accelerate the deployment of patrol planes, helicopters and personnel guarding the island chain, which runs from southern Japan to Taiwan, a sensitive area where China has stepped up military maneuvers. is extended.

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It will also be used to accelerate purchases of missile-defense equipment after North Korea resumed test-firing missiles in September, which also said it was a submarine-launched ballistic missile She landed in the water off the coast of Japan on 19 October.

The money is part of an economic stimulus package announced on November 19 and included in an additional budget expected to get parliamentary approval in December.

Write to Chieko Tsuneoka at [email protected]

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