SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Some South Korean opposition lawmakers on Friday criticized Japan for seeking greater role for its stronger self-defense forces.
"Given no sufficient repentance over its past atrocities and no sufficient compensation for them, Japan seeking to become a military power under the pretext of self-defense would give a deep scar to neighboring countries that suffered from Japan's past aggression, while escalating military tensions in Northeast Asia," Lee Jong-geol of the Democratic Party said in a joint statement with three other legislators of the same party.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Japanese counterparts at the so-called 'two- plus-two' meeting in Tokyo on Thursday to revise the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. The revision will increase security and defense collaboration between the two countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The gathering was highlighted by intense interest in Japan as the Japanese government was reportedly mulling expanding role of its self-defense forces, the Pentagon said. Kerry and Hagel were the first U.S. secretaries of state and defense to attend such a meeting in Tokyo.
The South Korean lawmakers stressed that the strengthening of Japan's military power would cause unnecessary military tensions in Northeast Asia, urging the South Korean government to issue an official statement slamming the greater role of Japan's armed forces.