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China Daily Website  

China urges Japan to explain constitutional amendment

Updated: 2014-01-23 19:35
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China on Thursday urged Japan to explain the purpose of plans to amend its pacifist constitution, in response to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent appeal for more transparency in China's military budget.

"It is Japan that should increase transparency. It should explain to Asia and the international community the real purpose of amending its pacifist constitution and expanding its military force," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing.

The Abe government has been trying to revise the pacifist constitution which came into force in 1947, so as to greenlight the expansion of Japan's military force.

In December, Abe's cabinet approved a critical defense policy package comprising new defense program guidelines, a five-year defense buildup plan and the national security strategy.

In the security strategy, Japan vowed to seek more "proactive" roles for its military forces abroad and to set new guidelines on arms exports, signaling a major shift from its previous restrictive stance.

As for China's defense policy, Qin said it is transparent and has been publicized in its whitepapers and on other occasions.

"China constantly sticks to the road of peaceful development, holding a defensive policy for national defense," he said.

Tensions have been rising among Japan and its Asian neighbors following Abe's December visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where 14 Japanese Class-A World War II criminals are honored.

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