• Kyodo News

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The panel charged with cutting Japan’s bloated fiscal budget Thursday called on the government to reject the Defense Ministry’s fiscal 2010 request for ¥7.22 billion to increase the ranks of the Self-Defense Forces by about 3,500.

As part of its open-door screening of budget requests for the next fiscal year starting in April, a working group of the Government Revitalization Unit gave the green light to the ministry’s request totaling ¥119 billion for payments to landowners who lease land for U.S. military bases and SDF facilities.

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