Japan Approves Extra Defense Spending and Sets a Record

TOKYO—Japan’s cabinet approved a boost in defense spending that for the first time will bring the annual total beyond ¥6 trillion, to the equivalent of $53 billion, responding to China’s rapid military expansion and U.S. requests for upgrades.

The move makes Tokyo’s defense budget for the current fiscal year equal to 1.14% of last fiscal year’s gross domestic product, exceeding an informal guideline of 1% of GDP that has usually been observed in recent decades.