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Japan: Defence Ministry demands money for stealth fighter jets

JAPAN’S Defence Ministry demanded money for F-35 stealth fighter jets today as part of its biggest-ever budget.

Plans to buy P-1 surveillance aircraft and unmanned drones are also part of the five trillion yen (£29 billion) budget for the year beginning April 2015, a 3.5 per cent increase from the current year.

The budget reflects Japan’s new defence guidelines as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes to unleash the country’s military.

Tensions with China have risen over a cluster of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera claimed the increased spending would “ensure security of the sea and airspace surrounding Japan, effective deterrence and response to any attack on remote islands.”

Meanwhile, the head of US forces in the Pacific Admiral Samuel Locklear said China should reverse recent actions that assert its claims over the islands, calling them provocative and disruptive.

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