'China threat' ploy used to fulfill rightist agenda

Updated: 2015-07-23 07:41

(China Daily)

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'China threat' ploy used to fulfill rightist agenda

The 2015 version of Japan's annual defense white paper. [Photo/IC]

The 2015 version of Japan's annual defense white paper is obviously a tool used by the Japanese government to justify its rightist agenda. Its singling out China as a "threat" not only reflects Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's hypocrisy but has also escalated tensions in the region.

The 400-plus-page document opens by describing the security situation around Japan as "increasingly severe", highlighting China's supposed military build-up and activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

By hyping the "China threat" theory and shifting attention to the South China Sea, Abe aims to adopt a more proactive defense policy and to justify Japan's shift of its military power, as more military resources have been relocated to the southwestern part of the country.

This year's white paper mentions a plan of deploying costal surveillance forces and amphibious motor forces to Yonaguni Island, which is only about 150 km from China's Diaoyu Islands.

It was Japan that unilaterally implemented the "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands, which is a brazen violation of China's interests and has exacerbated the tension between the two countries. Instead of admitting the Japanese administration's mistakes, the white paper has slandered China's legal patrols around the Diaoyu Islands inside China's territorial waters.

By interfering in the South China Sea issue, Abe has revealed his ambition to wield greater military influence, fueled by the eased rules on arms exports. Japan and the Philippines have agreed to negotiate a defense equipment deal, and potential Japanese exports include P-3C patrol aircraft and radar equipment. Tokyo has already promised 10 patrol vessels to Manila.

Heightened tensions will help Japanese arms manufacturers to sell more weapons to other countries, which will further complicate regional security.

Japan has been strengthening its military; it commissioned Izumo, a large vessel capable of carrying helicopters, in March. The 248-meter destroyer, similar in size to the Japanese carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor, is named after a warship used in the invasion of China in the early 20th century.

It is clear that Japan is escalating tensions, instead of making efforts to maintain stability, in the region. This is especially worrying because Japan's ruling coalition railroaded a series of controversial security-related bills through the lower house of parliament last week, breaking its postwar pacifist policy.

What the Japanese government has done is detrimental to regional peace and security as well as the overall relationship between China and Japan.

The above is based on commentaries released by the Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.