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Japan eyeing 5 trillion yen defense budget

TOKYO -- Japan's Ministry of Defense will likely make a record budget request for fiscal 2016 as it seeks to buy new airborne refueling aircraft and continue building an Aegis destroyer. Soaring procurement costs due to the weaker yen will also be factored into the request.

     The ministry expects to request a budget of more than 5 trillion yen ($40.3 billion) for fiscal 2016. The request is part of a two-step system. After each ministry submits its request, by the end of August, the government will debate the overall budget. After this process, the government compiles budget proposals, at the end of the year. For the first time, the government's defense proposal to the Diet is expected to top 5 trillion yen.

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