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Japan's cabinet approves three defense-related documents

The Japanese cabinet has endorsed two defense plans alongside its first ever National Security Strategy. The strategy, compiled on the orders of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, says Japan will seek a more "proactive" security role.

It will serve as the basis for decision-making at Japan's new national security council. The medium and long-term defense plans will strengthen surveillance over China's Diaoyu Islands, and bolster the capabilities of the Self Defense Forces.

The cabinet agreed 240 billion US dollars would be spent between 2014 and 2019, a 5 percent increase on the previous plan.

The program includes acquisition of surveillance drones and anti-missile destroyers. Under the plan, Japan is shifting its troop deployment from the north to remote islands in the south west. It also plans to deploy an early warning system, submarines and an anti-missile defense system.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 17Dec13]

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