China’s growing military might has replaced North Korean belligerence as the main security threat to Japan, according to Tokyo’s annual defence review — this despite signs that Pyongyang could have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
- China’s military spending is set to rise more than three times that of Japan.
- Beijing now routinely sends its air and sea patrols near Japan’s western Okinawa islands
- Japan considers Chinese patrols near its territory a ‘”security concern”
The document’s security assessment on China — listing them as a threat — comes after a section on Japan’s ally, the United States, which, along with Japan’s own defence system, forms the cornerstone of Japan’s security.
This is the first time Beijing has achieved second place in the Defence White Paper, pushing North Korea into third position.
Russia, deemed by Japan as its primary threat during the Cold War, was in fourth place.
“The reality is that China is rapidly increasing military spending, and so people can grasp that we need more pages,” Minister of Defence Taro Kono said at a media briefing.