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Japan mulls new defense equipment production strategy

The Defense Ministry plans to adopt by March a new defense equipment production strategy, revamping the policy followed since 1970 of limiting production to domestic makers, a Japanese government official said Saturday. The new strategy will open the way for Japan to take on a greater role in jointly developing and producing weapons with other nations, and to globally market more noncombat equipment for commercial use, the official said.

Suicide bomb in Kabul during Hagel visit: officials

A large suicide bomb exploded near the defence ministry in central Kabul during a visit to the Afghan capital on Saturday by new US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, officials said. A spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry said that there were civilian casualties but he did not give any further details. "A suicide attacker has detonated himself within 30 metres (100 feet) of the defence ministry gate, there have been casualties among civilians, but defence ministry personnel have not suffered any casualties," Zahir Azimi told AFP.
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