China media slam Japan military role expansion

China media slam Japan military role expansion

Wed Jul 2, 2014 2:6PM GMT

Chinese media have leveled harsh criticism against Japan’s easing of constitutional constraints that would expand the country’s military role and allow overseas deployment.

Chinese media on Wednesday denounced Tokyo’s move to loosen the bonds on its military, saying this poses a threat to Asian security and makes the world more concerned.

People’s Daily newspaper, in its editorial, described the decision as “a dangerous signal, as well as a wake-up call.”

China’s Global Times also accused Japan and the United States of seeking to see more disturbances in Asia, saying “the US hopes it will hinder China’s rise” while “Japan wants to seek opportunities to realize its rise both politically and militarily.”

The development comes a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his cabinet formally endorsed a reinterpretation of a constitutional clause, banning the use of armed force except in very narrowly-defined circumstances.

Japan’s armed forces can take action only to defend the country. But the new reading will let the army fight on behalf of Tokyo’s allies.

The move has drawn sharp criticism inside Japan and from neighboring China and South Korea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has said that the new policy “raises doubts about Japan’s approach to peaceful development”, and accused Japan of “hyping the China threat.”

South Korea has also raised objections, urging Japan to ensure regional peace and stability.

Moreover, thousands of people joined a protest outside Abe’s office in Tokyo earlier this week, arguing that any change to the constitution should be made through a public referendum, not simply a cabinet reinterpretation.

An opinion poll published by the Nikkei business daily has also shown that 50 percent of the respondents are against lifting the ban compared to 34 percent who back the change.

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