BEIJING, June 16 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that any policy adjustments on Japan's military security should not harm China's sovereignty and security interests.
Hua made the remarks at a routine press briefing in response to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for reinterpreting the pacifist Constitution to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Japan has long maintained it possesses the right to collective self-defense but cannot exercise it due to Article 9 of the supreme law that bans the use of force to settle international disputes.
Japan's House of Councilors on Friday passed a bill to revise the referendum law as part of effort to achieve Abe's goal to amend the pacifist Constitution, local media reported.
The bill, endorsed by the House of Representatives on May 9, will lower the voting age to 18 from the current 20 four years after the revised law takes effect.
Under the current Article 96 of Japan's pacifist Constitution, constitutional amendments require two-thirds support in both the Upper and the Lower House of Parliament, and must be ratified by a national referendum. Abe wants to loosen the requirements, making a simple majority in both houses sufficient to enact constitutional amendments.
Abe's efforts to lift the ban on exercising collective self-defense right by reinterpreting the Constitution and expanding arms exports have aroused concerns from neighboring countries which suffered from Japan's wartime aggression.
The direction of Japan's development has understandably drawn high attention from its neighbors and international society.
Recently, Japan has manufactured incidents and stirred up tension to pave the way for easing constitutional curbs that have kept the military out of overseas conflicts for nearly 70 years, said Hua.
"We have taken note of Japan's domestic discussions on the right to collective self-defense," said Hua, adding that the direction of Japan should be fundamentally decided by the Japanese people.
Hua quoted a Chinese proverb: "Lose an axe, and blame the neighbor" to make an analogy. The expression describes those who ignore the facts and make wrong assumptions about of people or situations.
Japan has lost perception of its own history, of its neighbors' concerns and the trend of the times, she said, urging Japan to regain good relations with its neighbors.