Beijing has expressed concern over Tokyo’s plan to increase military spending to counter China and accused its neighboring country of fueling military tensions in the region.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi in an interview with Nikkei Asia on Wednesday said the country could take a “radically different approach” to countering China’s increased capabilities, a remark that indicates Japan is ready to drop its long-standing cap of 1% of GDP for one year. defense spending.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Friday accused Japan of advocating the arms race. “The Japanese side made these irresponsible remarks to openly advocate the arms race, escalate regional tensions, provoke a military confrontation and even attempt to interfere in the Taiwan issue and China’s internal affairs,” a- he said.
The spokesperson warned his neighbor, saying that “Japan should not go above and beyond”.
“We once again warn the Japanese side that the determination and will of the Chinese government and military to safeguard national sovereignty, security and unity is firm. Japan should not outdo itself,” a- he declared.
The reaction comes against the backdrop of a joint statement by Joe Biden and Yoshihide Suga stressing the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait. It was the first mention of the autonomous island in a joint statement since 1969, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Kishi’s remark could be “a trial ball” in a push for constitutional reform but an increase in military spending to 4 or 5 percent was unlikely soon, said Liu Jiangyong, a Japanese affairs expert at the Tsinghua University in Beijing.
“But what should be noted is that the so-called defense budget is not only intended to defend Japan, but that an increasing share of it would be invested in global military strategy. led by the United States so that the Japanese military, even in the absence of an attack, could join the United States and fight abroad, which also raises its alleged contribution to defense, ”said Liu, cited by SCMP.
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