Japan Approves Record Defense Budget of $48.5 Billion

Japan Approves Record Defense Budget of $  48.5 Billion(Bloomberg) — Japan’s cabinet approved a record defense budget of 5.3 trillion yen ($ 48.5 billion), up about a percentage point from the previous year, amid renewed threats from neighboring North Korea.Among the items on the country’s shopping list is 11.1 billion yen for developing a new-generation fighter plane, according to documents distributed by the Ministry of Defense.North Korea Conducted ‘Very Important’ Test at Rocket SiteThe total also includes 28.1 billion yen for three Lockheed Martin F-35A warplanes. The ministry plans to have them assembled domestically, reversing a cabinet decision made last year to import completed F-35As from the U.S. Constructing the planes in Japan will save 40 million yen per unit, according to a Defense Ministry official.The government will set aside 200.5 billion yen in financial support for the roughly 50,000 U.S. military personnel based in Japan. The agreement with the U.S. on host-nation support expires in March 2021 and President Donald Trump is pressing for a hike in contributions, which some reports say will be as much as four-fold. Japan has denied the reports.To contact the reporters on this story: Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo at ireynolds1@bloomberg.net;Emi Nobuhiro in Tokyo at enobuhiro@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Kana Nishizawa, Gearoid ReidyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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