TOKYO, Dec. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- The Japanese government unveiled a 10-year defense program Friday which groundlessly describes China as a potential threat alongside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
While the DPRK has no diplomatic
relations with Tokyo, China is a country with which Japan has signed a peace
treaty and maintained very close economic ties.
Although diplomatic in wording,
Japan's Defense Program Outline mentions China and the DPRK as the only
neighbors that pose a threat to it.
"It is necessary to watch China's
nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the modernization of its navy and air
force and its attempts to expand marine activities," said the document released
by the Japanese government on Friday.
China and Japan normalized
relations 32 years ago. In addition to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed
six years later, the two countries agreed to upgrade their relations to
partnership in 1998.
In the past three decades, trade
has increased by more than 130 times and is expected to reach 150 billion US
dollars this year. China might become Japan's biggest trading partner in the
very near future. Japan's total investment in China amounts to 46 billion
High degree of complementariness
of the two economies has made long-term Sino-Japanese peace and friendship all
the more important, not only for the two countries, but also for peace and
prosperity in East Asia and the world at large.
In this context, it is difficult
to understand why Japan should see China as a threat.
Japan's chief cabinet secretary
Hosoda Hiroyuki was trying to play down the "China threat" issue. He told
reporters on Friday that the new defense program did not refer to China as a
threat but as a country that deserves Japanese attention in the field of
However, his explanation did not
even convince the Japanese media, which pointed out that it is the first time
Japan's defense program has advocated "China threat," although in an indirect
The Japanese government's act to
play up "China threat" goes against the two peoples' aspirations for lasting
peace and friendship.
China has expressed its "strong
dissatisfaction" with the Japanese move. "This is totally groundless and
extremely irresponsible," commented Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyueon
It is well-known that the Chinese
people are peace-loving. A stronger China will not be a threat to any other
country. Instead, it will be conducive to the development of its neighbors and
to regional and global stability and prosperity.
China hopes Japan can seriously
take into account its Asian neighbors' concern and exercise caution in military
and security policies. Japan should stick to the course of pacifism and
contribute to regional peace and development.
It is particularly noteworthy
that Japan appears to be following the United States in security strategy. It
makes some sense that Japan might be shifting its defense priority to
counter-terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks and to the enhancement of defense
capacity against what it calls the "DPRK threat." However, its unbelievably
enthusiastic attitude toward a missile defense system in collaboration with the
United States betrays its real intention. It is unconvincing at all that such a
missile defense system is designed for the above-mentioned purposes only.