Japan invests in new military kit as China row simmers
Japan announced it will buy stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a splurge on military hardware that will beef up defence of far-flung islands amid a territorial row with China.
The cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen between 2014 and 2019 in a strategic shift towards the south and west of the country -- a five per cent boost to the military budget over five years.
The shopping list is part of efforts by Abe to normalise the military in Japan, which has been officially pacifist since defeat in World War II. Its well-equipped and highly professional services are limited to a narrowly defined self-defensive role.