Asia

Japanese Defense Ministry seeks record $51 billion budget

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, June 21, 2016 file photo, Japan Self-Defense Force members set up a PAC-3 Patriot missile unit deployed ahead of North Korea's planned rocket launch at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo. Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, June 21, 2016 file photo, Japan Self-Defense Force members set up a PAC-3 Patriot missile unit deployed ahead of North Korea's planned rocket launch at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo. Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2016 file photo, members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force rappel down from UH-60JA helicopters during an annual live firing exercise at Higashi Fuji range in Gotemba, southwest of Tokyo. Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2016 file photo, members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force rappel down from UH-60JA helicopters during an annual live firing exercise at Higashi Fuji range in Gotemba, southwest of Tokyo. Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)  (The Associated Press)

Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea.

If approved by parliament, the budget request submitted Wednesday would be the fifth annual increase under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ended a decade of defense budget cuts.

The request includes the purchase of next-generation missile interceptors and an upgrade of surface-to-air missile defense systems to extend range and accuracy. It also calls for the development of a new submarine with advanced surveillance capabilities, upgrades to destroyers and the purchase of F-35 fighter jets.