China voices 'strong concerns' over Japan's military spending

BEIJING Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:06am EST

Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' infantry unit take part in the military's review during the annual troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka, near Tokyo October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' infantry unit take part in the military's review during the annual troop review ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka, near Tokyo October 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Defense Ministry called Japan's plans to raise its military spending for the first time in 10 years deeply worrying for Asia and the world, saying on Saturday that it strongly opposes its neighbor's policy.

Japan said earlier this week it will lift military spending by 2.6 percent over five years, buying early-warning planes, beach-assault vehicles and troop-carrying aircraft.

It was seen as the clearest sign since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office a year ago that he wants to raise Japan's military profile to meet what he says is a threat from China's rapid military buildup and recent actions to back its claims to Japanese-held islands in the East China Sea.

China said Japan's military plans raise questions about whether Japan is going beyond its defense needs to build itself up as an offensive combat power.

"Japan, on the one hand, claims to be a peace-loving country, exclusively adhering to a defense policy. Yet on the other hand, it peddles a so-called 'active pacifism', " the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website.

"Where is Japan's military security policy actually going from here? This cannot but arouse strong concerns in its Asian neighbors and the international community," the ministry said.

Japan and China have been mired in an increasingly fiery row over ownership of tiny islands in the East China Sea, with tensions spiking last month when Beijing announced an air-defense zone over a wide area including the islands.

Ties between the world's second- and third-largest economies have for years been strained by what China says is Japan's refusal to confess to atrocities committed by its soldiers between 1931 and 1945. But even amid diplomatic spats, Japan remains one of China's largest foreign investors.

In the 20 years to 2012, Japan was the sixth-biggest military spender in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. China, by contrast, leapt to second place from the seventh after it hiked its defense spending by more than five-fold.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Comments (10)
Ancalimon wrote:
Dear China, does it take a mental giant to think it may have something to do with your actions lately, as well as the insanity of your loving neighbor, North Korea?

Dec 21, 2013 8:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
papahades wrote:
What a joke. China needs to just shut its mouth and accept the fact that if they are going to increase their military spending by more than 5 times their neighbors will probably do the same as well. Personally I hope that all the pacific Asian nations band together and put the smack down on China like they deserve. They expect all the other nations to bow down to them and cater to their desires while they give nothing but grief and hypocrisy. I say sell Japan, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, and any other pacific Asian nations that hate China advanced military hardware. This will help the US in a few ways. We will gain money from the sale, save money because we wont have to front the bill for their defense anymore, and allow these other nations to contain China so we wont have to, it’s a win win for us all around. And who cares that China owns so much of our debt, they would never call in those debts because of what it would do to the world markets. If our economy collapses so does theirs. We are the largest consumers of their cheaply made, dangerous, slave/child labor products so they wouldn’t dare let us go under, why do you think they bought so much of our debt.

Dec 21, 2013 9:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
papahades wrote:
What a joke. China needs to just shut its mouth and accept the fact that if they are going to increase their military spending by more than 5 times their neighbors will probably do the same as well. Personally I hope that all the pacific Asian nations band together and put the smack down on China like they deserve. They expect all the other nations to bow down to them and cater to their desires while they give nothing but grief and hypocrisy. I say sell Japan, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, and any other pacific Asian nations that hate China advanced military hardware. This will help the US in a few ways. We will gain money from the sale, save money because we wont have to front the bill for their defense anymore, and allow these other nations to contain China so we wont have to, it’s a win win for us all around. And who cares that China owns so much of our debt, they would never call in those debts because of what it would do to the world markets. If our economy collapses so does theirs. We are the largest consumers of their cheaply made, dangerous, slave/child labor products so they wouldn’t dare let us go under, why do you think they bought so much of our debt.

Dec 21, 2013 9:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
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