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US contractors to gain most from Japan's record defense spending

America-friendly changes on deals prove a blow for domestic manufacturers

Japan is increasingly buying cutting-edge equipment, such as F-35A stealth fighters, through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. (Courtesy of the Air Self-Defense Force)

TOKYO -- Japan plans to spend record sums on defense in fiscal 2018 but the gains will flow not to high-tech Japanese manufacturers but to US companies backed strongly by President Donald Trump.

This has dismayed Japanese corporates that watched Mr Trump successfully sell prime minister Shinzo Abe a huge order of defense equipment last November, partly in response to the rising threat from North Korea's missile and nuclear program.

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