Japan

Japan Seeks Biggest Ever Defense Budget Amid China Concerns

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan's Defense Ministry wants to buy an advanced Aegis radar-equipped destroyer and more F-35 fighters under its largest-ever budget to bolster the defense of southern islands amid a territorial dispute with China. The ministry endorsed a 5.1 trillion yen ($42 billion) budget request Monday for the year beginning next April, up 2.2 pe... more

Explosion Rocks US Army Facility in Japan; No Injuries Reported

The interior of Building 163-11, a warehouse at Sagami General Depot, site of an explosion at the U.S. Army base in Sagamihara, Japan. Oxygen, nitrogen, Freon and compressed air tanks exploded, setting the building on fire. James Kimber/Stars and Stripes

TOKYO -- A blast at a U.S. Army depot outside Tokyo sparked a fire that burned for hours early Monday and set off secondary explosions. Officials said there were no apparent injuries. The explosion at Sagami Depot in Kanagawa Prefecture, 34 miles from downtown Tokyo, occurred inside a one-story, concrete warehouse at about 12:45 a.m., Army spok... more

Constitutional Questions Grow over Japan PM's Military Plans

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan's military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation's pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing Wednesday, after three prominent constitution experts — ... more

Okinawa Governor Hopes US Will Heed Base Plan Protests

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in TokyoWednesday, May 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO  — The governor of southern Japan's Okinawa prefecture said Wednesday he would travel to the United States to convey local objections to the relocation of a U.S. air base as protests intensify over the plan seen as being forced onto the island. A plan formulated in 1996 between the Japanese and American governments would move U.S. Marine ... more

US Defense Budget Already Counting on Japan Self-Defense Plan

A flag display for a meeting between Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Gen. Harukazu Saito, the chief of staff of Japan Air Self-Defense Force, at Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2015. (Gabriela Garcia/USMC)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The latest 2016 U.S. defense bill assumes Japan will adopt government-backed proposals on defending its allies, even though Japanese lawmakers have yet to vote on them. “The United States supports recent changes in Japanese defense policy, including the adoption of collective self-defense and new bilateral guideline... more

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