China airs concern over Japan's move to sell jets

2024-03-27 09:29:40China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed grave concern over Japan's latest step away from the pacifist constitution the country adopted at the end of World War II after the Japanese Cabinet approved a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets to other countries.

It is reported the controversial decision to allow international arms sales is expected to help secure Japan's role in a year-old project to develop a new fighter jet together with Italy and the United Kingdom, but it's also part of a move to build up Japan's arms industry and bolster its role in global affairs.

Speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing, the ministry spokesman Lin Jian said China has seen related reports, referring to Japan's latest decision and another revision to its arms equipment and technology transfer guidelines.

"Given Japan's not-too-distant history of militarist aggression, Japan's moves in the military and security fields have always been closely followed by its Asian neighbors, including China and the international community," Lin said.

The spokesman noted that in recent years, Japan has been drastically readjusting its security policy, increasing defense spending year after year, relaxing restrictions on arms export and seeking military breakthroughs.

"These moves have triggered strong concerns from neighboring countries and the international community," Lin said.

Because of its wartime past as an aggressor and the devastation that followed its defeat in World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that limits its military to self-defense.

The country long maintained a strict policy to limit transfers of military equipment and technology and ban all exports of lethal weapons.

But in 2014, it began to export some nonlethal military supplies, and last December, it approved a change that would allow sales of 80 lethal weapons and components that it manufactures under licenses from other countries back to the licensers.

"We urge Japan to earnestly respect the security concerns of neighboring countries, deeply reflect on its history of aggression, keep to the path of peaceful development and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the wider international community through concrete actions," Lin said.

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