BEIJING — Beijing has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with Japan’s stated concern with China’s increasing naval activity near its shores and measures to bolster its coastal defenses.
A statement posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website late Wednesday said Japan’s annual defense report contained irresponsible comments about China’s defense plans.
China’s defense and military modernization drive does not target any other country and is solely for safeguarding its own sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in the statement.
Tokyo’s report released Tuesday said Japan is concerned by Chinese exercises held in the Pacific and in waters surrounding Japan, a worry heightened by what it called China’s long-standing failure to provide information that would reassure the world about its rapid military modernization.
Japan is especially worried by the Chinese navy, which plans to carry out operations and training as routine practice in waters surrounding Japan, including the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, the report said.
Ties between Japan and China have been strained for years over a contested gas field and disputed islands in the East China Sea.
China is also in the midst of territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea.