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Japan defense spending tops 1% of GDP for fiscal year

Deployment of patrol planes, transport aircraft, missiles will be accelerated

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 submarine-hunting aircraft.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan boosted its defense spending for the current fiscal year to 6.1 trillion yen ($52.8 billion) after the government approved a supplementary budget on Friday to expedite the acquisition of new patrol planes, transport aircraft and other hardware with an eye on Chinese maritime activity.

The 773.8 billion yen in defense spending was the largest such allocation under any extra budget in Japan before. It also brings the country's total defense budget for the fiscal year ending March to 1.09% of gross domestic product -- the highest percentage in a decade, and the eighth time since fiscal 2012 to top the 1% mark.

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