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China Daily Website

Japan highlights China as 'security threat'

Updated: 2013-07-10 03:06
By Zhang Yunbi in Beijing and Cai Hong in Tokyo ( China Daily)

Retaking islands

But if no signs of aggression are detected in advance and the islands are occupied, operations will be conducted to regain the islands by defeating the enemy with air-to-ground and ship-to-ground strikes and by landing of ground SDF units, it said.

Jiang Xinfeng, an expert on Japanese studies at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the Japanese military has gradually shifted its defense focus to China in recent years amid the ups and downs of the East China Sea situation.

"Tokyo's military deployment has shown great emphasis on the offshore islands in the southwest. 'Defending and retaking' them has been highlighted as a major pattern of a possible military operation," Jiang said.

The China-Japan relationship became strained last September after the Japanese government illegally nationalized part of China's Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

Patrol ships sent by China Marine Surveillance enhanced law enforcement in the waters off the islands last year, over which Tokyo has expressed discontent and panic.

Beijing said on Tuesday that China's regular maritime practices are "beyond questioning", a response to Tokyo's allegation that Beijing is operating in contravention of international law.

The annual report said, "China has attempted to change the status quo by force based on its own assertion, which is incompatible with the existing order of international law," and "China should accept and stick to the international norms".

China has been consistently seeking a resolution for territorial and maritime disputes through dialogue and reconciliation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news conference.

"China, in the meantime, never allows any country to infringe on its territorial sovereignty," Hua warned.

In February, the Japanese defense minister accused a Chinese warship of locking its fire-control radar onto a Japanese vessel but Beijing soon rejected the allegation, saying the facts did not support the claim.

However, the Tuesday report once again mentioned the so-called radar incident, repeating Tokyo's accusations.

"Japan's security environment is surrounded with destabilizing factors, some of which are becoming increasingly tangible, acute and serious," said Masayoshi Tatsumi, defense councilor of Japan's Ministry of Defense at a briefing before the cabinet's approval of the white paper.

"The first budget hike in 11 years" is a common catchphrase in the annual report, a fact that analysts say reflects the military ambitions of the Liberal Democratic Party, which regained a majority in the lower house last year, and which seems to be pushing for a military buildup.

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