Home > Nation
Monday, January 12, 2015, 16:36

China opposes Japan's defence minister remarks

By Agencies

 China opposes Japan's defence minister remarks
Gen Nakatani, Japan's new Defence Minister replacing outgoing defence chief Akinori Eto, delivers a speech at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on Dec 25, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI)

BEIJING - China criticised Japan's newly appointed defence minister for the first time on Monday, saying it was "firmly opposed" to his comments that Beijing has repeatedly engaged in "dangerous actions" in the East China Sea.

Both countries reached an agreement late last year to reset ties.

Gen Nakatani, a lawmaker who served in Japan's armed forces for several years, was appointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in late December. Nakatani has held the defence minister's post before and believes Japan should have the ability to hit enemy bases pre-emptively in the face of imminent attack.

Nakatani accused China last week of violating Japan's territorial waters with its vessels in the East China Sea, adding that China had locked fire-control radar on Japan's vessels, set up an air defence identification zone in the East China Sea, and "flown its fighter jets abnormally close" to Japanese aircraft.

In a statement on its website, China's Defence Ministry said its military activities in the sea and airspace were "completely legitimate".

"The leader of Japan's defence department ignores the facts and keeps on rehashing the same tune, playing up the 'China military threat'," the ministry said. "China is firmly opposed to this."

The ministry reiterated its stance that China had a right to set up air defence identification zone and that it had already clarified to Tokyo on the use of radar.

Latest News