(Bloomberg) -- Japan is planning its biggest-ever allocation to defense spending in an extra budget, as it seeks to speed up missile defense projects with China tensions simmering. 

The cabinet Friday approved a request of 774 billion yen ($6.8 billion), part of which is brought forward from the planned budget for next financial year. 

Japan’s relations with China have turned increasingly testy since Beijing’s clampdown on Hong Kong, and Tokyo has openly expressed concerns about tensions across the Taiwan Strait and their effect on regional security. 

The extra defense spending comes after the Defense Ministry requested a record 5.5 trillion yen budget for the financial year starting in April, a move that sparked criticism from China. Next year’s budget is set to be finalized at the end of the year, and may be trimmed after some items were front-loaded.

The current year’s extra spending package includes:

  • 98 billion yen for missile defense, including 44 billion yen for updated Lockheed Martin PAC-3 MSE missile interceptors and 10 billion yen for surface-to-air guided missiles
  • 86 billion yen for construction of a planned replacement U.S. Marine base on Okinawa
  • About 66 billion yen on acquiring three Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ P-1 fixed-wing patrol aircraft
  • READ: Japan Seeks Record $50 Billion Defense Budget With Eye on China

 

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