Japan new security plan focuses on island disputes

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By AP

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Updated: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 11:16:32 EST

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Cabinet has adopted a national security strategy and revised defense plans that increase defense spending 5 percent over the next five years and call for a larger role in maintaining international stability amid China's rise.

The program for 2014-2019 includes acquisition of surveillance drones, anti-missile destroyers and other equipment as Japan's defense priority shifts from northern Japan to the East China Sea.

The revised defense plans are based on the new national security strategy that reflects Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive for more "proactive" defense and bigger international role.

Japan's neighbors — and some Japanese citizens — worry that the guidelines push the country away from its pacifist constitution.

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