China Regarded As A Threat By Japan

China Regarded As A Threat By Japan
MaoNo / Pixabay

In its annual White Paper defense report entitled Defense of Japan, Japan has emphasized China as a threat to Japan’s security. China’s military activities both in the South China Seas and near Japan, particularly around the Senkaku Islands have alarmed many in East Asia and Japan is no exception. In past White Papers, Japan has expressed concern over China’s military but refrained from calling China a threat. This White Paper represents a significant step up in language concerning China and would seem to represent the reality of the security situation with China that Japan is facing. The release of this White Paper also comes on the heels of the approval by the lower house of Japan’s Diet to move forward with new legislation allowing for an expanded role by the Japanese military. As expected, China has lashed out at Japan over the contents of the White Paper.

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The White Paper

Approved by the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the 429-page white paper provides insights into the security environment Japan faces. Its release delayed for over a week, the White Paper was approved on Tuesday July 21st by the cabinet. The delay has been attributed to Abe and the ruling party, the LDP, demanding inclusion of China’s “one-sided” maritime activities. The original draft of the paper was said to be too soft on China. Following the approval of the White Paper by the Cabinet, Defense Minister General Nakatani said at a news conference,  “Coupled with a lack of transparency in terms of military and security affairs, China’s military development is of concern to the regional and international community, including our country.” He added, “our country needs to observe it closely”.

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Focus on China

At the top of security concerns in the report is China which takes up one-third of a chapter on global security trends. The report mentions, “China, particularly over conflicting maritime issues, continues to act in an assertive manner, including coercive attempts to change the status quo, and is poised to fulfil its unilateral demands high-handedly without compromise.”

In the East China Sea where both Japan and China have disputed claims, China is constructing oil-and-gas exploration programs. Fearing that China could use these platforms to tap oil and gas reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory, Japan has called on China to halt construction of the platforms. In 2008, both countries agreed to jointly develop resources there though China resumed independent activities following the 2012 purchase by the Japanese government of the Senkaku Islands. Though the platforms are being built in China’s EEZ zone, Tokyo is not only concerned about the potential for theft of Japan’s oil but also the use of the platforms for military surveillance purposes.

Though Japan is not a claimant nation in the disputed South China Sea, special attention in the White Paper is directed at that region. In the White Paper, Tokyo accuses Beijing of “high handed” tactics as China moves forward with its provocative actions in the region despite protests from regional countries in East Asia. Japan has singled out China’s expansion work at Fiery Cross Reef as a sign of increasing militarism. Fiery Cross Reef is the location of China’s first and only airstrip in the South China Sea, built on reclaimed land over the past year.

The report also mentions North Korea as a threat. Japan is concerned about the increasing range of North Korean ballistic missiles coupled with that countries nuclear weapons capability. Other top threats include terrorism from groups such as ISIS. Earlier this year in February, ISIS beheaded two Japanese hostages in the Middle East. South Korea though not listed as a threat has denounced Tokyo for again claiming sovereignty over the Korean controlled Dokdo Islands which Japan calls Takeshima. This is the 11th straight year that Japan has done so in its White Paper.

China’s Response

Chinese officials have reacted harshly to the White Paper. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said

“The new defense white paper of Japan once again ignores facts, makes irresponsible remarks on China’s normal military growth and maritime activities, deliberately plays up the “ China threat” and stirs up tensions.” He referred to China’s activities in the East China Sea as “justified, reasonable and legitimate.” Harsher though were comments on Japan’s role in the South China Sea. Lu remarked, “Japan’s actions of deliberately intervening in the South China Sea issue and playing up regional tensions run counter to regional peace and stability, and severely undermine the political and security mutual trust between China and Japan.” Additionally Lu said, “We solemnly urge Japan to stop causing tensions or provoking conflicts, and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability,” said Lu.

China’s Defense Ministry also expressed strong dissatisfaction over the White Paper. The Defense Ministry argues that the modernization of the military is a legitimate right of China as a sovereign state. The Defense Ministry also criticized Tokyo for its recent passing of expanded security legislation saying “Japan, on the one hand, declared that it pursues a path of peaceful development, but on the other hand, it seeks to adopt a new package of security bills that will enable Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to engage in armed conflicts overseas and help defend others even if Japan is not attacked.” It added, “The two-sidedness of Japan’s foreign policy will cause an adverse impact on the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.”

Meanwhile, Zhuang Jianzhong, vice director of the Center for National Strategy Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University said of Japan’s concerns over China’s activities in the South China Sea, “The Chinese construction on the reefs has nothing to do with Japan’s security situation. Japan is neither a claimer state or a nearby country in the South China Sea area. It’s deliberate show of unnecessary worrying shows that Japan wants to be involved in the SCS affair.”

Japan and China

Japan has in the past refrained from directly regarding China as a threat in its annual White Paper though the situation has changed enough to warrant use of that language now. The massive buildup of China’s military does not match the idea of its peaceful rise. China’s activities in the South and East China Sea are both aimed at provocation and increasing China’s influence rather than promoting peace and understanding in the region. With the recent passage of new security legislation in Japan which is widely expected to be signed into law within the next three months, Japan under Abe is moving to confront threats to its security. This White Paper further confirms what many already know, that Tokyo is concerned about the actions of Beijing.

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Stephen Paul Brooker is a writer, political researcher, and political consultant. His specialty is in East Asia security issues and he has lectured at St. John's University on conflict theory and international relations. He holds a Master's Degree in International Relations and a graduate certificate in International Law and Diplomacy from St. John's University and a Bachelor's Degree in Government from Wagner College. Currently he is pursuing a Diploma in Economics from the University of London.
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  1. That’s the problem with you. You’re trying to incite racist comment first. If your name here is truly your real name, I bet your ancestry were one of the refugees from China as I’ve indicated earlier.

  2. Remember, China has never invaded South East Asia as Japan did in WWII and had never occupied South East Asian nations as those Western colonial power did, such ash USA.

  3. This is a joke, right? By Japan ONLY? Yes, the author is joking or, the most logical explanation for his ignorance is that he lives in another planet.

  4. If China and Japan were to combine together and form a more powerful China, then China would have a much easier time taking over any variety of smaller countries. Of course, this may certainly need at least 10 more years, especially to combine military at the same time as technology advancement. Eventually, this more powerful China will become an overwhelming threat to America. This is exactly what happens in my screenplay titled; “The Last President” by Douglas Paige at; driveme89123yahoocom and asking only $1.7 million.

  5. It’s hurting me the most seeing so many fellow Americans become ignorant of things, especially on the current world events and history that can shape us. Our nation needs to have well informed and educated voters. Seek the truth.

  6. The answer about the WW II criminals can easily be found with the aide of Google search and the internet. Here is the link for you to checkout on the conviction of the Japanese WWII criminals. We need to learn from the past history in order to avoid the mistakes in the future. If Japan’s gov’t and its politicians aren’t truly sincere about their apologies on their WW II atrocities, how can you trusted that they’ll forgive us from dropping the 2 nuclear bombs on their cities? How do you know that they won’t turn on us when Uncle Sam become weak someday?

  7. While people with limited intelligence still deserve some respect, those like you who have abused their minimal intelligence to gather a full brain of filthy dredge so that they even can’t pick proper words in English when they attempt to pollute social places like this forum. What a pity that there are still such low life human borers like you in this world after some many years of evolution.

  8. Japan was charged Class A,B,C war crimes where “Class B” crimes were reserved for those who committed “conventional” atrocities or crimes against humanity. If Japan make a wrong move, just see what will happen. Glorifying crimes against humanity is even more destructively unhealthy.

  9. I see many are crying and hope for fall of China, i am sorry to tell you that you are not gonna see it anytime soon, and China will rule Asia like it or not

  10. the world is boycott made in China. Economy in China is collasped. Chinese xi I a thief, and lead commie thief red China. Do not trust and invest in China
    Any countries invested will loose money. Hope USA wakes up, and made in america

  11. What will fraudulent Chinese politburo do to Japan? Nothing, because hideous China knows pretty well that Japan is an ally of the mighty US and A FORCE TO RECKON WITH.

  12. @chrudacumlaudenot, obviously, you wasted your stupid time by reading his article, researched his school and talked trash to him. The author is way better than you because he can write a superb article, unlike you, you can’t even write a full sentence without reprehension of other’s comment. Get lost, you ain’t worthy of respect.

  13. @chruda, you’re really a jealous piece of work, first the author now me for my up vote. You’re calling me of minimal intelligence. Your poor diction says your a jealous dimwit. Enough said.

  14. China is the expert at stealling other nations resources.

    China is a rogue nation that has absolutely no dignity nor decency.

    China is still living in the feudal past and will go the way of all dinosaurs,

    China’s stupidity got itself caught in so many distortion of facts and lies

    China cheated and deceived all of it good friends in the past.

    China is full of greeds, have no self respect and not shameful at it own wrong doing

    China is like a criminal that willing to do anything irrational to achieves it own selfishness

    Throughout the World history, China has and always been a provocative land grabber over times

    with revealing established patterns.

    China is an invader who inflicting wound to others small neighboring nations

    Unlike those small Asian countries like Japan and Korea which proud of their products,

    China is the most populous nation on earth but full of power hungriness and corruptions

    Everyone in the world know China is not even trustworthy of it own: ” made in China ”

    The civilized world will applaude when barbaric China collapses

  15. @ting, your comment is so irresponsible and impertinent. There are no crimes against humanity (Class C) that was applied to Japan during the WWII at the Tokyo trial, why will Japan apologize. Fraudulent China by all means cannot punish or condemn Japan because Japan is an ally of the mighty US. Let it go, bitterness is unhealthy.

  16. By looking at an author’s credentials, many people can decide whether it will be wasting time reading his article. Of course, people with less than minimal intelligence, or people who upvote themselves, are an exception.

  17. Hello Hao, remember WWII? Japan came to Vietnam for just very short time Vs. they wiped your Chinagook a*s for a longtime, or maybe Chinese people love Japanese and asked them to stay there longer, who knows. Just like I said before, there is no “dignity” word in Chinese language. By away, if not for the win of WWII from US, Soviet and the Europeans, China probably still under Japan ruling, and you Hao, might be half and half.

  18. based on current events, not only does japan view china as a threat.. many of its neighbors do.. some are vocal about it, some are quietly worried.. many sees this played out depending on what actions china will take. Being the most powerful nation (economically & militarily) in the region, and perhaps 2nd in the world, it is all up to china how this crisis ends.

    It can do the most reasonable thing: treat its neighbors with the respect that every self-respecting nation deserves and then be respected in return… and bring the situation away from the precipice.

    Or continue to act with arrogance, and over-confidence that with the new found power it can do away with what it wants with its neighbors. Not thingking that all of its neighbors regardless of how weak economically or militarily are made of people who are as proud of its race and nationhood as just any other country. When this happens, any self respecting country has to push back.. being comparatively weaker, these neighbors will take the natural course weaker protagonists do. That is to advance collective defense by banding together and seeking alliances with external forces. This is exactly what is happening now.

    Its plain to see that how this ends is all up to china. It can start a real dialogue that allows all parties to settle their concerns amicably (chinas pre-condition to dialogue is that the other party agrees china has indisputable sovereignty over the disputes areas, is NOT a good starter.. it is offensive to the other party as it is an insult by china to the other country’s thinking capacity)..

    The second option is for china to carry on its current course and start a conflict with possible catastrophic effects to the region and maybe even to the world.

  19. A rich and strong big China bring business to the World. A rich and strong small japan will bring war to the World. Because a big China does not need more land from the World, but some natural resources for economical developments. A small japan will want more land from its neighbors.

  20. Japan committed crimes against humanity in China and refuse to apology. To avoid possible punishment by China, Japan label China as an enemy in order to justify defending itself against future punishment. Japan get tacit permission from USA for its new war monger policy

  21. Japan needs to repent and sincerely apologize and compensate the victims in WWII,
    look how they apologized to American wholeheartedly, they entertained America
    solider by inviting them to visit Japan, but not to Asian, they just deny,
    distort the history by changing the textbook; and still worship the
    blood-tainted shrine that houses the butcher; even for millions of woman sex slave,
    Jap tried to change their status to Jap government hired paid prostitute;
    How shameful is Jap people!!! this kind of discrimination is an insulting to
    Jap themselves!!!

  22. That’s what happened throughout thousands years of Chinese history. The fall of a dynasty comes the flood of people to the south of the border. It’s not about dignity, it’s about survival.

  23. @ujur, Get over it, you’re a classic example of dimwit piece of work. You were the one who mentioned it in the first place, dummy.

  24. @chruda & ujur, what’s your problem with the author and the topic? Stick to the topic, obviously the author is a lot better than you because he can write and you cannot. All you do is criticize on the sideline with irrelevant remarks that show you’re just jealous of him. Just argue intelligently and everything would be fine.

  25. @chruda, what’s your problem with the author? Stick to the topic, obviously the author is a lot better than you because he can write and you cannot. All you do is criticize on the sideline with irrelevant remarks that show you’re just jealous of him just like ujur. Are you both cum laudes or something, or just unschooled spectators.

  26. China has never been a threat to Japan for hundreds if not thousands of years, and yet Japan was a threat to the entire S.E Asia counties in the WWII. Japan just needs an excuses to change its peace constitution and eventually possess a nuke

  27. @ujur, if the past hurts you, you can either run from it or learn from it, That’s too ancient boy, this is the 21st century.

  28. @chruda, what’s your problem? Stick to the topic not universities, credibility, diploma etc. You’re the one who has no credibility because of your irrelevant irresponsible remarks. Are you jealous or something, are you a cum laude? I reckon you’re unschooled mentally retarded twerp. Get lost, put your insecurities somewhere else, probably to your family.

  29. “China regarded as a threat by Japan’

    Both Japan and the author of this article have to wait until China invaded Japan and brutalized its people like Japan did to China, Korea and other Asian countries in the last century to validate their point.

  30. The author has a unconvincing resume as a credible researcher in the subject area that he is writing. Not many people heard of Wagner College. St. John’s University is a 3-4th class school that not many bright students would prefer to go. A diploma in economics is a dubious pursuit. First of all there are many colleges and schools in the University of London, which vary in prestige and quality. A diploma is less than a degree. He just does not have enough credibility.

  31. China is not only a threat to Japan and Southeast Asia but a threat to the World. It is high time for the world to respond to an agressive land-grabbing China.

Comments are closed.