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The government approved Monday a record defense budget for fiscal 2021 totaling ¥5.34 trillion ($51.7 billion), as it seeks to introduce new standoff missiles capable of attacking enemy vessels from outside their firing range amid growing threats from China.

The draft budget is up 0.5% from fiscal 2020, including outlays linked to hosting the United States’ military bases, and has hit a record high for the seventh consecutive year as the country boosts its ability to deal with China’s growing maritime assertiveness and North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats.

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