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Japan's defense budget to hit record high

North Korea, South China Sea tensions to push up spending

TOKYO -- Japan's defense budget is expected to reach a record-high 5.1 trillion yen ($44.6 billion) for fiscal 2017, as the country bolsters its ability to defend against North Korea and China.

The sum, which include costs for relocating U.S. military personnel, is set for approval by the cabinet as early as Dec. 22. It would mark the fifth consecutive annual increase in defense outlays.

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