Japan has announced a large defense build-up and national security strategy aimed at countering China's increasingly assertive claims on disputed territory.
The plan calls for increased air and maritime capabilities and comes just weeks after Beijing alarmed the region by unilaterally expanding its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.
Under the arrangement adopted Tuesday, Japan will raise defense spending by 5 percent over the next five years to purchase its first surveillance drones, more jet fighters and naval destroyers, and to set up an amphibious unit similar to the U.S. Marine Corps.
The new security policy underscores expanding the capabilities of Japan's Self Defense Forces in the face of Chinese intrusions. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has championed re-defining Japan's pacifist military and spoke to journalists after the announcement reports Voice of America.
He says the National Security Strategy shows Japan's diplomatic and security policy to the Japanese people, as well as the international community, with clarity and transparency. He says through international cooperation and their "proactive" peace policy, Japan will continue efforts to make even more of a contribution to international peace and stability.
Japan's Kyodo news agency reports under the security policy Tokyo will deepen defense relations with the United States and seek a more pro-active role for its Self-Defense Forces overseas.
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