News / Asia

Panel: Japan to Beef Up Military in Response to China

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews the honor guard before a meeting with Japan Self-Defense Force's senior members at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Sept. 12, 2013.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews the honor guard before a meeting with Japan Self-Defense Force's senior members at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Sept. 12, 2013.
VOA News
Japan will set up a new amphibious military unit and deploy surveillance drones as part of its new defense plan in response to China's growing military power.

The proposals were included in drafts of new security strategy and defense guidelines released Wednesday. They are set to be approved by the Cabinet next week.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said the new plans will be "historic" in helping shape the country's national security direction.

"As the security environment surrounding our country is increasingly getting severe, the Abe cabinet has been working on restructuring defense and security policy with our determination to protect the lives and property of people of Japan under any circumstances," Abe said. "At its core, I am certain that the National Security Strategy which we studied with you and new defense guidelines will be historical documents which will shape the direction of our nation's defense and security." 

The drafts warn of what is called China's attempts to change the regional status quo by force. They specifically mention Beijing's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, which includes islands also claimed by Japan.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
To help defend the area, the plan calls for the creation of amphibious forces at Naha Air Base on the southern island of Okinawa. It also proposes introducing surveillance drones and early-warning aircraft at the base.

The defense strategy says Japan should respond "calmly and resolutely to the rapid expansion and step-up of China's maritime and air activities."

Responding to the Japanese defense plans at a daily briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei called the accusations "unreasonable."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
x
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
"China is closely watching Japan's security strategy and policy direction," he noted. "Japan's unreasonable criticism of China's normal maritime and air activities and hyping up of a China threat have hidden political motives. We urge Japan to pay attention to Asian neighbors' security concerns, comply with the historical trend, follow the path of peaceful development, and make due efforts to improve relations between the two countries and maintain regional stability.''

The Japanese defense plans also spoke of worsening regional security. In such an environment, the texts said Japan should strengthen its own military capabilities, while continuing to deepen its alliance with the United States and others. It also proposes relaxing a ban on the export, development and production of Japanese weapons.

Since taking power last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to strengthen Japan's military, boost its global security role, and seek to revise its pacifist constitution.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs