Japanese defense chief urges 9.7% budget hike

Japanese Defense Minister Joji Omura said he could not take responsibility for Japan's security unless the military budget were increased by 9.7 percent in 1981. It was the toughest statement yet by Mr. Omura, who appears to be fighting a losing battle against other Cabinet ministers who do not agree with his demand for the defense spending hike. The Defense Ministry wants Japan to spend about $12 billion on defense next year, which would still be less than the ceiling -- 1 percent of gross national product -- imposed by successive Japanese governments by virtue of the country's no-war Constitution. The United States supports the defense spending increase.

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