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Japan hopes to build a brainier defense force with beefier pay

Move aimed at attracting tech-savvy recruits to confront high-tech threats

TOKYO -- Japan is looking to beef up its Self-Defense Forces with a smarter type of warrior to confront expected security challenges in the high-technology arena and is willing to pay for it.

Starting next fiscal year, the Ministry of Defense plans to raise the starting monthly salary of cadets more than 5% to above 140,000 yen ($1,187). However, new recruits will need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and have to pass tougher exams in Japanese, math, social studies and writing.

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