Hyping up ‘China threat’ by Japan harms regional stability

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Tokyo

Japan has once again mudded China’s normal and justifiable maritime activities and has hyped up the so-called “China threat” in its annual defense white paper released on Tuesday.
The trick, nothing new of Japan, only serves to make excuses for its own military buildup and stir up tensions in the region, which will do no good to Japan and the region.
In the 2017 defense white paper, Japan made irresponsible statements on China’s national defense system and smeared China’s normal and justifiable maritime activities in the East and South China Seas as “attempts to change the status quo by coercion.”
However, the fact is that Beijing has repeatedly made it clear that China’s navy and air force activities are in line with international law, domestic law as well as national defense needs.
Japan has no right to make carping comments on China’s legitimate activities near the Diaoyu Islands, which are China’s inherent territory in all historical, geographical and legal terms and Japan has made unjustified claim for.
As for the South China Sea issue, freedom of navigation has never been a problem in the area, and interference by Japan and other non-regional countries only jeopardizes peace and stability in the region.
China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries have successfully drawn up and adopted the framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea recently, and the issue is back to the track to resolve disputes through direct dialogue and negotiation by the parties directly concerned.
Japan’s meddling in the issue, apparently for its own ulterior agenda of enhancing its regional influence and gaining leverage for its dispute with China on the East China Sea issue, could hardly win support from other countries in the region.
Japan itself has been showing a growing ambition for military expansion, with its military expenditure keeping reaching new records over the past few years, which has caused heavy burdens to the country already deep in debt and raised concerns from neighboring countries which fell victim to Japan’s aggression before and during the Second World War.
The nation, with greater “defense forces” as well as the newly enacted security laws which are commonly called “war laws” in Japan, is now able to fight wars abroad, albeit in contradiction to its own constitution and protests from hundreds of thousands of its people.
The support rate of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has plunged sharply recently, at one point below the 30 percent mark, which, according to local polls, was largely due to a loss of trust in the prime minister over a series of scandals as well as disappointment at the government’s policies.
The recent cabinet reshuffle, though lifting people’s expectations a little bit, could soon see its effects worn off, according to the majority of analysts here, unless the government could come up with policies that could really benefit its people.
Under the current “growingly severe security situation” as Japan mentioned in the white paper, the proper solution would be dealing with the challenges through cooperation and coordination of the international community, rather than stoking tensions in a Cold-War way.—Xinhua