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Japan Calls China a Military Threat

Wang

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Japan Calls China a Military Threat
By HIROKO TABUCHI , 04.01.2006, 10:53 PM

Two top Japanese officials called China a military threat on Sunday and rebuffed conciliatory gestures by Beijing over a disputed war shrine, in comments likely to heighten tensions between the two nations.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso - who has already angered China in recent months with a series of critical comments - questioned China's rapid military spending increases and its lack of transparency.

"It's not clear what China is using the money for. This creates a sense of threat for surrounding countries," he said on a Fuji TV Network talk show, in an unusually clear expression of Japanese government unease.

China has announced double-digit spending increases for its 2.5-million-member military nearly every year since the early 1990s.

Japan's Defense Agency has listed China's military expansion as a top security concern in the region, echoing U.S. concerns about Chinese secrecy surrounding its military spending.

Chinese officials have insisted their country is open about spending and has increased military exchanges with other countries.

On the same show, Chief Cabinet Spokesman Shinzo Abe rebuffed a recent Chinese offer of a summit between the two countries on condition that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stop visiting a war shrine linked to Japan's past militarism.

Chinese President Hu Jintao made a rare conciliatory gesture to Japan on Friday by offering to hold a summit with Koizumi if he stops his visits to Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 2.5 million war dead - including convicted war criminals. China has refused top-level talks since Koizumi last visited the shrine in October 2005.

Abe rejected that offer, saying, "It's China that needs to take another step forward." He also said Japan's commemoration of its war dead was an internal affair.

The Chinese government has repeatedly criticized Koizumi's visits, calling them offensive for victims of Japanese aggression in the first half of the 20th century. Koizumi has said he goes to the shrine to pray for peace.

Though linked by billions of dollars in trade, relations between the two neighbors have deteriorated recently, threatening to destabilize a region already tense over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

China protested earlier this week when Japan's Education Ministry approved textbooks that say a disputed island chain in the East China Sea is an integral part of Japan.

Meanwhile, Japan on Friday renewed accusations that China used spies to pry state secrets from a Japanese diplomat in Shanghai, ultimately driving him to suicide in 2004. China has denied that its officials were involved in the staffer's death.

The two countries have also been feuding over gas and oil deposits in the East China Sea.


You can find the article here.
 

ranko

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After reading the interesting pic below i think However, Business is the business, they could have many ways to inject their yens into China .

Businessman always looks for profits while politicians not.
 
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