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November 18
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The Defense Ministry is considering making a record request of over ¥5.3 trillion for the fiscal 2019 budget, informed sources said, The Japan Times reported.

The amount will be over ¥100 billion bigger than its initial budget for fiscal 2018 because of the plan to buy into Aegis Ashore, a land-based missile defense system built by the U.S., the sources said Friday.

The ministry plans to deploy Aegis Ashore batteries in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures amid uncertainties over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s military buildup.

But Aegis Ashore will be costly. The two sophisticated radars involved are expected to cost a combined ¥267.9 billion.

The ministry’s initial budget for fiscal 2018, which began in April, came to a record ¥5.19 trillion, up for the sixth year straight.

Making a record budget request for fiscal 2019, the first year of the next midterm defense program, would make it easier to achieve budget growth in the following fiscal years, sources familiar with the situation claimed.

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