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Japan plans to spend 25.5 trillion yen ($224.7 billion) on military equipment over the next five years, 6.4 percent higher than the previous five-year plan in new defence guidelines adopted on Tuesday, Dec.18.
The plans are the clearest indication yet of Japan's ambition to become a regional power as a military build-up by China and a resurgent Russia puts pressure on its U.S. ally. Japan plans to buy 45 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighters, worth about $4 billion, in addition to the 42 jets already on order, according to a separate five-year procurement plan approved on Tuesday.