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Japan's foreign minister sees higher defense outlay

Japanese Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe said Sunday Japan may increase its defense spending, currently restricted to 1 percent of gross national product. The defense budget this year represents 0.98 percent of the nation's GNP.

Japan's Constitution stipulates it will not use its armed forces for purposes other than defense. Mr. Abe said in a TV broadcast that a new limit would have to be worked out with popular consensus. The comments came on the heels of President Reagan's visit to Japan, during which Japan's defense role was discussed.

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