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Japan Defense Budget to Increase for First Time in 11 Years

Japan is set to increase its defense budget for the first time in 11 years and boost Coast Guard spending as it copes with mounting incursions by Chinese ships in waters near islands claimed by both countries.

The defense budget will rise 0.8 percent to 4.68 trillion yen ($51.7 billion), the Defense Ministry said. The Coast Guard budget will go up 1.9 percent to 176.5 billion yen, its first expansion in six years. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet yesterday approved a 92.6 trillion yen budget for the fiscal year starting April that must be approved by parliament.