Request for £37bn budget also follows growing Chinese air and naval activity in the region

Japan’s defence ministry has requested a record budget as it seeks to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and respond to growing Chinese air and naval activity in the region.

If approved by the cabinet and parliament later this year, the 5.3tn yen (£37bn) budget would mark a 2.1% increase from last year and be the seventh consecutive rise under Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

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