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Japan should stick to purely defensive defense strategy: FM

(Global Times)    08:08, December 27, 2017

China's foreign ministry told Japan to stick to its purely defensive defense strategy after media reported that Japan is to refit its Izumo helicopter carrier, a move a Chinese expert said might lead to a deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations.

"We urge Japan to persist in its purely defensive defense strategy, continue on the road of peaceful development and act cautiously in military security areas," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular press conference on Tuesday.

Japan is considering refitting its Izumo helicopter carrier so that it can land US Marines F-35B stealth fighters, government sources said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Japan has not possessed fully fledged aircraft carriers since its World War II defeat in 1945.

"Japan is shifting its helicopter carrier to becoming an amphibious assault ship, which could largely upgrade Japan's attacking abilities," said Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator.

This move suggests that Japan has given up its purely defensive defense strategy and is heading toward a military strategy with both defense and offense, Song noted.

"Japan in breaking the peaceful constitution would worsen its relations with China, especially with Japan insisting on an incorrect historical view which would lead the country toward militarism," Song said. "This would bring more difficulties to the healthy and stable development of current Sino-Japanese relations."

Due to historic reasons, Japan's movements in military security have been closely watched by neighboring countries and international society, Hua said, noting that related reports suggest that Japan's recent move may have violated Article 9 within its Constitution.

Japan's current Constitution that came into force on May 3, 1947, has been best known for its Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war and promises that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained," according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Japan should work more to enhance trust among regional countries, and promote regional peace and stability, Hua said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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