Japanese PM Naoto Kan warns of China's military rise

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Japanese PM Naoto Kan warns of China's military rise

Post by samuel »

1 October 2010 Last updated at 09:24

Japanese PM Naoto Kan warns of
China's military rise Mr Kan said the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, also claimed by
China, belonged to Japan Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has expressed concern
over China's maritime activities and military build-up, amid a lingering
diplomatic row.He called on China to act as a "responsible member of the international
community".Mr Kan made the comments in his first major policy speech since surviving a
leadership challenge last month.Relations between the two countries hit a low point last month over a maritime
incident near a disputed island chain.
"The rise of China has been remarkable in recent years," Mr Kan told Japan's
"But we are concerned about its strengthening defence capabilities without
transparency and accelerating maritime activities spanning from the Indian Ocean
to the East China Sea."
Earlier this year, China announced its military spending would rise by 7.5% in
2010, ending a long run of double digit growth.
Many experts believe the actual amount spent by China on its armed forces is far
higher than the published amount.
Chinese officials say that as a proportion of GDP, China still spends less than
other countries, such as the US.
Angry reaction

The diplomatic row was touched off by the collision of a Chinese fishing vessel
and two Japanese patrol boats in waters off a chain of small islands claimed by
both countries.
China reacted angrily when Japan detained the captain of the fishing vessel for
more than two weeks, demanding an apology from Tokyo and compensation over the
Ongoing disputes
Gas fields: The countries argue over gas exploration rights in the East China
Disputed islands: Both countries claim ownership of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
Yasukuni Shrine: Memorial to Japan's war dead which China sees as glorifying
war criminals
Beijing suspended high-level talks with Tokyo, exports to Japan of rare earth
metals were temporarily halted and four Japanese men were detained for allegedly
entering a restricted military area.
Three of them have been released and returned to Japan on Friday, but a fourth
remained in detention.
In another development, China's national tourism agency warned Chinese tourists
to watch their safety in Japan.
The warning was issued after a bus carrying Chinese visitors to the country was
surrounded by dozens of vehicles. People then reportedly started kicking the bus
and shouting abuse at the tourists inside.
'Uncertainty and instability'

The seas around the uninhabited chain of islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and
Diaoyu in China, may have rich oil and gas deposits.
Mr Kan repeated Japan's claim to the islands.
"The Senkaku islands are an integral part of our country, historically and under
international law," he said.
He said good relations with China - Japan's largest trading partner - were vital
to both countries, but said China must act as a responsible member of the
international community.
Japan needed to adopt more active foreign and defence policies to deal with
"uncertainty and instability that exist in areas surrounding our country", Mr
Kan said.
His speech followed remarks from China's foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday
urging Japan to "stop making irresponsible remarks and safeguard the larger
interests of bilateral relations with concrete actions".
The spokesman, Jiang Yu, said: "We are willing to resolve our disputes through
friendly negotiations but the Chinese government's and people's will and resolve
are unswerving on issues involving China's territorial integrity and
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