Japan's Defense Ministry will seek another record budget of over 5.4 trillion yen ($49 billion) for fiscal 2022, aiming to beef up its capability around remote southwestern islands to counter China's growing naval activities, government sources said Thursday.
The defense budget could further expand, possibly topping 1 percent of Japan's gross domestic product when it is finalized in December, as the request excludes outlays linked to hosting U.S. military bases. Such outlays total about 200 billion yen every year.
Japan's defense budget has long stayed at around 1 percent of its GDP, in light of the country's postwar pacifist Constitution and since the Cabinet decided in 1976 that the outlays should not exceed 1 percent.
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