China, ROK may take measures to beef up security
Senior defense officials from Beijing and Seoul voiced concern on Thursday over Tokyo’s belligerent and unapologetic tone regarding Japanese war crimes.
China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan told Baek Seung-joo, vice-defense minister of the Republic of Korea, on Thursday in Beijing that the two countries should take precautions “against Japanese politics taking a hard right turn’’.
The Japanese Cabinet reinterpreted the nation’s pacifist Constitution on July 1 to end its ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or helping a friendly country under attack, in a move that analysts said marked a significant shift in the country’s politics.
China and the ROK are expected to “beef up communications and coordination and take proactive measures in safeguarding regional peace and stability”, Chang said.
At the fourth China-ROK defense strategic dialogue on Wednesday, Wang Guanzhong, deputy joint chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army, informed Baek of China’s positions regarding the right-wing tendencies of the Tokyo Cabinet led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Wang discussed issues concerning the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands at the meeting.
Baek expressed concern about the “Japanese government’s persistence on an erroneous and outdated outlook on history as well as the drastic maneuvers of its defense policies”.
Seoul is ready
boost regional security cooperation with Beijing, Baek said.
Gao Hong, a senior research fellow on Japan studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Abe Cabinet, following its Constitution reinterpretation, has quickly moved to lobby officials and advance a series of legislative overhauls to facilitate bolstering its self-defense forces.
“A blueprint is in place,” Gao said. “The Cabinet is progressing a military buildup step by step and steering the nation into becoming one capable of waging a war. It is a dangerous trend.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on July 7 that Moscow “expects Tokyo to conduct a peaceful foreign policy, exercise restraint in military activity, fully recognize results of WW II and not whitewash Japanese imperialist crimes”.
Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Tokyo campus, told Bloomberg that “Japan needs to keep apologizing, making gestures of contrition and seek a fuller understanding of its shared past with Asia”.