Japan’s decision to once again embrace the path of militarization is “very dangerous” and warrants the attention of the international community, China’s Defense Ministry spokesman warned on Thursday.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei was asked by reporters to comment on recent remarks by Tokyo’s Defense Ministry, which sounded the alarm over Beijing’s decision to increase its military budget.
Tan dismissed all such concerns, insisting that China is committed to a path of peaceful development and stressing that its “limited defense expenditure is entirely for safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests” along with regional and global stability. He stressed that China’s defense spending “is open and transparent within a reasonable and appropriate level.”
However, the spokesman noted that Japan “has been playing up the so-called ‘external threat’ in recent years” while boosting its defense budget and working to obtain advanced offensive weapons, thereby fueling regional tensions.
“We urge the Japanese side to earnestly learn from the lessons of history, and be cautious in words and deeds in matters of military security,” Tan stressed, adding that Tokyo should “stop doing things that undermine regional peace and stability”.
Earlier this month, China announced that it would boost its defense spending by 7.2%, bringing the total budget to about $225 billion. However, last December Japan said that its military budget would swell by 20% to a record $55 billion. In February, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also announced that Tokyo intends to buy 400 Tomahawk missiles from the US, citing security concerns over China and North Korea.
Japan, which officially renounced war and embraced pacifism after its defeat in WWII, plans to spend as much as $320 billion in total on defense over five years.