China, ROK may take mea­sures to beef up se­cu­rity

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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

to

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”.

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