News

Japan Calls for Chinese Military Transparency

The Japanese government's annual defense report is calling for China to disclose more data about its military expansion and also concludes North Korea has ballistic missiles that could hit Japan.

Japan released its annual defense report, which will guide policy for the next year. As expected, two communist states - China and North Korea - feature prominently.

The document calls for China to be more transparent about its defense policies and military might.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Tomhiko Taniguchi says openness from Beijing would help dispel concerns about China's military modernization. China has rapidly increased military spending in the past decade.

"Sunshine is the best disinfectant and you have to be very much transparent," he said. "The Defense Agency and the Foreign Ministry, as well, are requesting China reveal everything that is going on in terms of defense buildup and the amount of defense budget and what sort of equipment and weaponry the Chinese military is using."

The government document expresses "grave concern" that North Korea's missiles, coupled with its nuclear-weapons programs, "have become destabilizing factors" for the world.

Last month, North Korea tested several missiles, including a long-range ballistic missile that failed shortly after launch. The United States, Japan and other countries had warned Pyongyang that any launches would raise tensions in the region.

Pyongyang also has refused since last year to return to negotiations over its pledge to dismantle its nuclear-weapons programs.

Despite comments by government officials that Japan should consider acquiring the capability to pre-emptively strike North Korean missile sites, Foreign Ministry spokesman Taniguchi says the paper proposes no changes in Japan's defense policy.

"I frankly do not think so. Everything that the defense white paper has written about has been going on for some time," added Taniguchi. " (The) white paper is a document that combines and pulls together things that are already happening."

The document, endorsed by Japan's Cabinet, also pledges to implement in a "timely and thorough" manner the realignment of U.S. military forces in Japan. Thousands of Marines and their families on Okinawa are to be relocated to the U.S. island of Guam.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs