Japan approves record defence budget
Japan’s cabinet has approved a record 4.98 trillion yen (£28bn, $42bn) budget for defence spending, amid a long-running maritime dispute with China.
The new budget represents a 2.8% rise from the previous fiscal year. It marks the third year of increased spending after a decade of cuts.
New Defence Minister Gen Nakatani said it was needed to deal with the “changing situation” around Japan.
The money is expected to go towards patrol aircraft and vessels.
These include 20 maritime patrol aircraft, five crossover aircraft – which have both airplane and helicopter functionalities – and six stealth fighters.
The defence ministry is also planning to buy 30 amphibious vehicles and an early-warning aircraft, which can detect vessels and other aircraft from a long distance.