The 2010 defense budget crafted by the recently elected Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is being scrutinized carefully by a waste-cutting panel chaired by Yukio Hatoyama, the new prime minister. Especially vulnerable is the Patriot PAC-3 ballistic missile interceptor, for which ¥94 billion ($1 billion) is requested. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and the Social Democratic Party, a pacifist coalition partner of the DPJ, oppose it, while the People’s New Party, another coalition partner, ...

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