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Satoshi Morimoto, Japan's Minister of Defense
wikipedia-DoD Photo By Glenn Fawcett
Japan is to increase its defense budget for the first time in eleven years amid territorial dispute with China. The change was outlined in the Defense Ministry's revised budget request presented to the parliament on January 11.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which won Japan's parliamentary election in December 2012, promised to strengthen the military and the country's position in a row with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in East China Sea.
"Our stance that we will adamantly protect our waters and territories has not changed at all. As I said before, there is no room for negotiations," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated.
In the initial budget request for the new fiscal year, submitted under the previous Democratic Party government, the defense ministry asked for 4.59 trillion yen.
Under the revised budget, the ministry requests 4.65 trillion yen ($53 billion) plus costs for last-minute items, such as an unspecified rise in the number of soldiers, fuel and surveillance planes, which are likely to exceed 100 billion yen ($1.13.billion).
The Ministry of Defense has also been allocated an extra 212 billion yen in the 2012/2013 fiscal year to boost communications, transport and missile defense capability.