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The Defense Agency will seek 4.999 trillion yen for its fiscal 2000 budget, up 1.6 percent from that of the current fiscal year, Defense Agency chief Hosei Norota said Friday.

The 79.5 billion yen increase is largely attributed to costs related to the increase in the number of retiring Self-Defense Forces officers, whose number rose by 1,300 from the year before to roughly 4,700, he said.

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