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Japan Approves Record Defense Budget Amid China Threats

  • Figure marks 10th straight rise in Japan military spending
  • Japan’s officials are speaking out about Taiwan security
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Assault Amphibious Vehicles during an exercise on Tanegashima island in Kagoshima in November.
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Assault Amphibious Vehicles during an exercise on Tanegashima island in Kagoshima in November.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Japan’s cabinet approved Friday a record defense budget of 5.4 trillion yen ($47.2 billion) for the year starting in April, as it seeks to bolster its ability to fend off threats from neighboring China.

The figure marks the 10th straight increase in annual defense spending and exceeds a ceiling of 1% of gross domestic product that the pacifist country has largely maintained for decades. The plan follows record defense spending in a supplementary budget passed by parliament this week.