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Rising Asia tensions push Japan's defense budget to record high

No end in sight for spending as Pyongyang and Beijing continue to flex military muscle

The deckhouse of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System. Japan plans to deploy two of the systems to counter the growing threat from North Korea.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The looming threat of North Korea and China's increased military presence have prompted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet to endorse the country's largest-ever annual defense budget, starting April 2018.

Final cabinet approval of the budget was given Friday morning.

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