|China media slam Japan's military expansion
China's state-run media launched a broadside Wednesday against Japan's move to loosen the bonds on its powerful military, casting it as a threat to Asian security.
The harsh criticism came one day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his cabinet had formally endorsed a reinterpretation of a constitutional clause banning the use of armed force except in very narrowly-defined circumstances.
"The Japanese government is eager to break through the post-war system,'' wrote the ruling Communist Party's flagship People's Daily newspaper in an editorial penned under the name "Zhong Sheng'', a homophone for "Voice of China''.
It called the Abe government's move "a dangerous signal, as well as a wake-up call''.
In a commentary late Tuesday, China's official Xinhua news agency challenged Tokyo with a question: "Is China on your military agenda?''
"Japan has a history of making sneaky attacks, as it did in launching wars with China, Russia and the United States in the recent 100 years,'' Xinhua wrote. "Now, Japan, with greater freedom to use military force, is making the world more worried.''
China, home to the world's largest military, far outnumbers rival Japan in manpower, ships, aircraft and defense spending.
China's official defense budget last year came to $119.5 billion, while according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Military Balance 2014 report, released in February, Japan's total was $51 billion. --AFP