Japan's 2013 defense budget faces the biggest drop in percentage terms since 2004, set to contract 1.3% after three consecutive 0.4% reductions since 2010. Japan's security environment, especially around its southernmost islands facing China, is “tougher than ever” according to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, but 20 years of economic stagnation make it increasingly difficult to pay for defense. Japanese defense planners claim to focus on the most important capabilities, but some ...


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