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Japan sets defence budget rise amid ugly islands dispute with China

Published on Jan 11, 2013 5:48 PM
 
Japanese ground self defence force AH-1S helicopters flying during the airbone troops' new year drill in Narashino city, suburban Tokyo. Japan is planning to increase its defence budget this year for the first time in 11 years, the Defence Ministry's revised budget request showed on Friday, amid a bitter territorial dispute with China. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan is planning to increase its defence budget this year for the first time in 11 years, the Defence Ministry's revised budget request showed on Friday, amid a bitter territorial dispute with China.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led his Liberal Democratic Party to a landslide victory last month, promising to beef up the military and stand tough in a row with China over East China Sea islets claimed by both sides.

"Our stance that we will adamantly protect our waters and territories has not changed at all. As I said before, there is no room for negotiations," Mr Abe told reporters after the government approved US$117 billion (S$141 billion) of spending to revive the economy.

The latest request is made up of 4.65 trillion yen (S$64 billion) in budget appropriations for the year starting on April 1, flat from the current fiscal year's initial budget, and a group of last-minute items for which costs have yet to be determined.

 
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