TOKYO: Japan plans to spend an extra $2.1bn on missiles, fighter jets and helicopters, an official said yesterday, as it tries to strengthen defence capabilities with concerns growing over a rising China. The cash injection over the next few months comes on top of regular military spending for 2012-13. It is separate from a request for a rise in the military budget for the next fiscal year which policymakers called for on Tuesday. Japan is involved in a territorial tussle with China over a group of uninhabited islands. Nerves have also been rattled by an unpredictable North Korea, which sent a rocket over Japan’s southern islands last month. “We will request 180.5bn yen to be allocated to military spending from a stimulus package,” a defence ministry spokesman said.
No.2 movie market
BEIJING: Moviegoers in China spent 17bn yuan ($2.7bn) on tickets last year, turning the country into the second-largest film market in the world, the state news agency Xinhua said yesterday. Sales rose 30 percent from 2011, it said, citing the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, underscoring the rapid growth that has long attracted Hollywood despite China’s tight restrictions on foreign films. After years of pressure, China in 2012 agreed to increase the number of films allowed in annually from the United States-which is the world’s largest movie market-from 20 to 34, whereas 893 domestic films were produced last year. Nonetheless foreign films generated 51 percent of the revenue, beating domestic film ticket sales for the first time in nine years, and Hollywood’s share in China rose from 18 to 25 percent.
Indonesian police discover bomb stash
JAKARTA: Police discovered a stash of more than 20 homemade bombs in central Indonesia yesterday after uncovering plots to attack tourist destinations in the region, a spokesman said. Anti-terror police found bombs, explosive materials, detonators, nails and books on jihad (holy war) on the island of Sulawesi, where police have reported increased militant activity in recent months. “A total of 20 pipe-bombs and a 16kg bomb housed in three Tupperware containers stuck together were found,” said national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, adding the raids took place in the southern district of Enrekang.
Vietnam jails 13 for ‘anti-state crimes’
Hanoi: Thirteen political activists were found guilty of anti-state crimes in Vietnam yesterday and sentenced to prison, a ruling condemned by rights activists who saw it as part of a crackdown on dissidents in the communist country. They were sentenced to terms ranging from three to 13 years. The court in Vinh, 300km south of Hanoi, found them guilty of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration”, a charge under Article 79 of the penal code that can carry the death penalty.