Japan defence plan wary of China’s military


TOKYO: Japan will identify North Korea as a threat and call China’s military activities a concern in a review of its defence policy that will include plans to beef up its ability to cope with Beijing’s rise, a newspaper reported on Monday.
The update of the National Defence Programme Guideline, the first since 2004, is expected this month as Japan confronts China’s military build-up and North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island. The review will be the first since Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took government last year.
“To organise our own defence capabilities is something that our country certainly needs to do. This does not directly link to posing a threat to another country,” Kan told a news conference.
The guideline will outline a new stance called “dynamic defence capability” which will call for deterring China around Japan’s southern islands, while also responding to terror and guerrilla attacks, the Nikkei business daily reported.
A long-running territorial feud between Japan and China resurfaced in September when Japan detained a Chinese skipper whose boat collided with Japanese patrol ships near disputed islands in the East China Sea. He was later released.