Reports have indicated that Japan's Coast Guard, in a bid to improve its surveillance of the sea dividing Japan and China, wants to spend 2.9 billion dollars over seven years to overhaul its fleet.
The move by lawmakers was aimed at safeguarding Tokyo's interests as talks with Beijing over gas exploration
in the East China Sea remained deadlocked.
With similar aims in mind, the Coast Guard plans to spend 350 billion yen (2.9 billion dollars) over seven years to replace older ships and aircraft, the Sankei newspaper said.
Such improvements would allow the Coast Guard to conduct round-the-clock surveillance near disputed gas fields in the East China Sea as well as on Okinotorishima, a remote southern islet, the newspaper said.