'Containing China' a Japanese strategy

'Containing China' a Japanese strategy

Japan is trying to justify attempts to break away from its pacifist Constitution and build up its military by fanning the so-called China threat, experts said after Japan released the final draft of its national security strategy on Wednesday.

In the draft, Japan vowed countermeasures against what it calls "China's attempts to change the status quo with force" in the East China and South China seas, according to the summary of the draft issued by Japanese news agency Jiji Press.

Lu Yaodong, director of the department of Japanese diplomacy of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the strategy included "containing China" in the core missions of Japan's new National Security Council, established a week ago.

"The Abe Cabinet is now bold enough to label China as a strategic target because it has harvested enough excuses from tensions over China's Diaoyu Islands and China's newly established air defence identification zone," Lu said.

Beijing said on Wednesday that it is unreasonable for Tokyo to say that China's decision to establish the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone last month is changing the status quo.

"It is not others, but Japan that made provocations" in the East China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

The draft of Japan's National Defence Program Guidelines outlines military policy for the next decade and calls for Japan to set up intelligence, early warning and surveillance activity to defend Japanese sea and air territory.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a meeting with security experts on Wednesday that the two pacts - to be approved at a cabinet meeting on Dec 17 - will be "historic documents that shape our country's national security".

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