China says con­cerned by Ja­pan’s move to boost mil­i­tary

The Kurdish Globe - - INTERNATIONAL -

China ex­pressed con­cern on Mon­day af­ter Ja­pan un­veiled plans to boost the num­ber of its mil­i­tary per­son­nel, as a bit­ter ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute be­tween the two coun­tries drags on.

Ja­pan's De­fence Min­is­ter It­sunori On­odera said on Sun­day the government would in­crease the num­ber of per­son­nel, now stand­ing at about 225,000, by 287 in the next fis­cal year start­ing in April, the big­gest rise in two decades. The fig­ure rep­re­sents an ex­pan­sion of about 0.1 per­cent.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Hong Lei said Ja­pan should pay greater at­ten­tion to re­gional con­cerns, al­lud­ing to Ja­pan's at times bru­tal be­hav­ior dur­ing World War Two which China con­sid­ers Ja­pan has not done enough to atone for.

"Due to his­tor­i­cal rea­sons, Ja­pan's neigh­bor­ing coun­tries pay great at­ten­tion to its mil­i­tary de­vel­op­ments," Hong told a daily news brief­ing.

"We hope that Ja­pan pur­sues a path of peace­ful devel­op­ment, respects the con­cerns of coun­tries in the re­gion, take his­tory as a mir­ror and does more to ben­e­fit re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity," he added.

China and Ja­pan are en­gaged in an in­creas­ingly hos­tile dis­pute over a group of un­in­hab­ited is­lands in the East China Sea.

Both sides sought to cool ten­sion last week, with Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party chief Xi Jin­ping telling an en­voy from Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe that he was com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing bi­lat­eral ties.

China's own mil­i­tary ad­vances have rat­tled the re­gion, in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ing stealth fight­ers and launch­ing the coun­try's first air­craft car­rier.

On Sun­day, the government said it had again tested emerg­ing mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy aimed at de­stroy­ing mis­siles in midair.

In this Oct. 14, 2012 photo, Ja­pan Mar­itime Self-De­fense Force (JMSDF) es­cort ship Ku­rama leads other ves­sels dur­ing a fleet re­view in wa­ters off Sagami, south of Tokyo.

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