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Japan defense report says drones, marines needed

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July 25, 2013 10:45 PM EST | AP


TOKYO — Japan's government says in an interim defense policy paper that drones and marines are needed to strengthen defenses against China and North Korea.

The report approved Friday by the Defense Ministry outlines Japan's mid- to long-term defense policy ahead of a final report expected in December. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet wants to revise the current policy set by the moderate Democratic Party in 2010, to strengthen regional defenses and a security alliance with Washington.

The report says Japan should increase its surveillance capability and consider using drones like Global Hawk. It proposes creating a marine force to defend disputed islands and upgrading its missile defense.

Japan says China's growing maritime activity near disputed East China Sea islands and North Korea's missile and nuclear development pose major threats.