Beijing urges prudence by Tokyo on THAAD
China urged Japan on Monday to “act prudently” and play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability, as Japan reportedly considers deployment of a US missile defense system, following the Republic of Korea.
Japan’s Defense Ministry will set up a committee to begin deliberations on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system amid the growing nuclear threat of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada is likely to visit Guam next month to inspect the ground-based THAAD system at the base, Japanese media reported.
“We are concerned by related reports. China’s stance on the deployment of THAAD is very clear and remains unchanged,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news conference in Beijing.
In September, the ROK chose a site for deployment of the advanced missile defense system by the end of next year, despite China’s strong opposition. The system’s radar has a potential radius of 2,000 kilometers and could cover parts of China.
According to Geng, Japan’s movements in the field of military security are closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community, due to historical concerns.
“We hope the Japanese side will play a constructive role in facilitating peace and stability in the region, instead of the opposite,” he said.
Noting the complex and sensitive situation on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman also called for parties involved to solve issues through political and diplomatic means, instead of using the peninsula situation as an excuse to harm other countries’ security and regional stability.
On Wednesday, Japan and the ROK signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement, under which they will directly share information about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Jiang Xinfeng, an expert on Japanese studies at the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science, said Tokyo has long been interested in deploying the THAAD system, and Japan already has a ballistic missile defense system after years of cooperation with the United States.
Lyu Yaodong, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “Once the antimissile alliance takes shape among Japan, the ROK and the US after Japan’s deployment of THAAD, the regional security situation in the Asia-Pacific will deteriorate, given its already weak condition.”
We hope the Japanese side will play a constructive role in facilitating peace and stability in the region, instead of the opposite.” Geng Shuang, Foreign Ministry spokesman