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China, S. Korea Warn against Japan's Defense Policy Shift
   2014-07-02 09:10:48    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Mao

Related: China: Japan's Security Policy Shift Sounds Alarm

Both China and South Korea are warning Japan not to hamper regional peace and stability.

The call comes after the Japanese cabinet passed a controversial resolution which will allow Japan to send troops overseas.

CRI's Su Yi has more.


 

It is one of the biggest changes in Japan's security policy since the Second World War.

Japan's current Constitution, famous for its war-renouncing Article 9, bans troops from fighting outside Japan.

China says this is a signal the Japanese government is hoping to walk away from its pacifist policies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei:

"We notice that in Japan, there are strong objections towards the move to allow the country to exercise collective self-defense. The future of Japan should be decided by the Japanese public. China objects to Japan's action to press ahead with its agenda by fabricating a China threat theory. We demand that Japan respect the security concerns of neighboring countries and address the issue prudently. We ask the country to not hamper China's sovereignty and safety or the peace and stability of the region."

The United States is welcoming the move, saying it will make the US-Japan alliance more effective.

But Seoul, another ally of Washington, is cautioning Japan about easing its military limits.

South Korean Foreign Ministry Spokesman Noh Kwang-Ii.

"Our government will never tolerate Japan's exercise of collective self-defence that affects the Korean peninsula, without our request or agreement. It must be pursued in a direction that will not hurt regional peace and stability in the framework of the U.S.-Japan alliance while keeping the spirit of the peace constitution which has been maintained during the last 60 years."

In Seoul, protestors have gathered in front of the Japanese embassy, demonstrating against Tokyo's move.

"We really hope that Abe's government makes an unequivocal apology and reflects on its past actions, rather than trying to lift a ban on collective self-defense."

The move has also sparked demonstrations in Japan.

In Tokyo, thousands protestors have gathered outside Shinzo Abe's office.

Takeshi Iwaya is the Chairman of the Ruling Party Security Research Council.

"Up to now, Japan has said it won't do any 'wrong' and will wish for peace only. But that is not enough. Japan should cooperate with regional countries in a framework to protect the peace and stability of the region. We are aiming for a more proactive role."

Beating drums and carrying banners, the protesters are demanding Abe's Cabinet scrap its new plan.

"Japan hasn't launched a war for nearly 70 years, killing no one, and no innocent people have been killed. So I cannot bear the decision to amend the interpretation of the Constitution. I think it's totally wrong."

Over the weekend, a man set himself on fire in an apparent protest over the reinterpretation of the constitution.

The latest polls in Japan suggest around 54 percent of respondents object to the reinterpretation of Japan's anti-war constitution, compared with 29 percent who support the move.

Critics fear the new reinterpretation is the first step toward an eventual revision of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution.

For CRI, I'm Su Yi.

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