The Self-Defense Force wants record spending power next year to help pay for major upgrades to the nation's defenses, as Tokyo continues to perceive a missile threat from North Korea despite Pyongyang's promise to abandon nuclear weapons.

The Defense Ministry budget proposal released Friday calls for defense spending to rise 2.1 percent to ¥5.3 trillion ($48 billion) for the year starting April 1.

If approved it will be the seventh straight annual increase, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reinforces the Self-Defense Forces to respond to any North Korea missile strike and counter China's growing air and sea power in the waters around Japan.