Japan hypes up "China threat" in defense white paper

Source: XinhuaEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-08-02 18:11

TOKYO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government approved a defense white paper for 2016 on Tuesday, summarizing Japan's defense policy changes while smearing China's normal maritime activities to justify Japan's own militarization.

The annual document came after an ad hoc arbitral tribunal with judges mostly picked by Shunji Yanai, a Japanese right-winger, issued a biased and illegal award over the South China Sea dispute.

The Philippines unilaterally filed an arbitration case against China at the tribunal over the South China Sea in 2013.

China has dismissed the ill-founded ruling as "null and void with no binding force."

In the 480-page white paper, Japan devoted some 30 pages making irresponsible remarks on China's national defense and China's normal and legal maritime activities in the East and South China Seas.

Analysts here believe that by playing up the so-called "China threat," the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is attempting to make excuses for amending the post-war pacifist constitution and building up Japan's military.

The white paper also covers Japan's defense policies and changes in defense strategy since last July, including Japan's ever-rising military spending, its enforcement of the new National Defense Program Guidelines, and its attempts to promote arms sales.

It devoted a special chapter to the highly controversial security law that had been steamrolled through the parliament in March by the Abe administration.

It claimed the legislation "safeguards Japan's peace and security" and "international community spoke highly of the security laws," ignoring the fact that the majority of legal experts in the country regarded the security laws as unconstitutional and hundreds of thousands of people have rallied against the laws.

The white paper also stressed the importance of Japan-U.S. military alliance. Regarding the planned relocation of the U.S. air base in Okinawa, the document said relocation to Henoko within the prefecture is the only solution, despite the strong wish of Okinawans to move the base out of the island.

The document also listed other security "concerns," such as those from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

Japan released its first white paper on defense in 1970 and has been compiling new versions annually since 1976.

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