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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.

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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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