TOKYO, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Japan's Ministry of Defense is reportedly requesting a 2.2 percent increase in its fiscal 2016 budget to help counter China's maritime capabilities.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reports the ministry plans a budget increase to 5.2 trillion yen, about $41 billion.
The request, the fourth budget increase in as many years, would include funding to procure a destroyer with an Aegis combat system for destroying ballistic missiles, three Global Hawk reconnaissance unmanned aerial systems, six stealth F-35 aircraft and a dozen Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Japan is engaged in a dispute with China over the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Japan's unilateral gas development work in the area.
It is also concerned over China's land reclamation and island building in areas of the South China Sea claimed by other countries.