- Title: CHINA: Foreign Minister opposes Japan defence budget increase
- Date: 10th January 2013
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JANUARY 10, 2013) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY CHINESE NATIONAL FLAG FLYING CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HONG LEI WALKING IN FOR REGULAR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HONG LEI SAYING: "Due to historical reasons, Japan's neighboring countries attach great concern to its (recent) military trends. We demand Japan draw a lesson from history and continue the road of peaceful development." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 25th January 2013 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Economy
- Reuters ID: LVACMXYCS04HDP2EOYS08HM3O1DU
- Story Text: China's foreign ministry expressed concern on Thursday (January 10) at Japan's recent decision to increase its defence budget.
"Due to historical reasons, Japan's neighbouing countries attach great concern to its (recent) military trends. We demand Japan draw a lesson from history and continue the road of peaceful development," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news conference in Beijing.
Japanese media reported on Saturday (January 5) that its government was likely to increase defence spending for the first time in 11 years, as newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged a sterner response to its island territorial dispute with China.
Sino-Japanese relations have deteriorated sharply since the Japanese government bought the disputed East China Sea islets from a private Japanese owner last September.
Beijing also claims the isles as part of Chinese territory and the purchase triggered violent anti-Japanese protests across China.
Abe has repeatedly said there is no room for negotiation on the islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese, and has said he would boost defence spending to counter China's growing military clout.
Japan's Defence Ministry has scrambled F-15 fighter jets several times in recent weeks to intercept Chinese marine surveillance planes approaching the disputed islands near Taiwan.
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