• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government said Tuesday it will effectively expand defense spending for the first time in 11 years in its draft fiscal 2013 budget, in the wake of the growing assertiveness of China around Japan-controlled islets in the East China Sea.

The defense budget for the next fiscal year starting April 1 totals ¥4.754 trillion, up ¥40 billion from the previous year, reflecting the government’s goal of strengthening the Self-Defense Forces in order to bolster border defense, officials said.

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