Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Thursday voiced serious concern over Japan’s passage of bills that will expand the role of Japan’s self-defense forces.
Japan’s ruling coalition passed the bill amid strong public opposition, marking the most significant overturn of the nation’s ‘purely defensive’ military posture.
On Thursday, hundreds of protesters outside the building chanted anti-war and anti-Abe slogans during the debate and vote, some holding banners reading, “No to war legislation!”
The bills, which are considered in violation of the country’s war-renouncing Constitution by about 90% of constitutional experts in Japan, will allow Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to engage in armed conflicts overseas and help defend others even if Japan is not attacked.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi urged the Japanese side to earnestly draw lessons from history, stick to the route of peaceful development, respecting the major security concerns of its neighbors and work to maintain regional peace and stability.
“(This move) cannot but raise concern and questions from neighboring countries and the rest of the international community on whether Japan will abolish its pacifist posture,” Yang said.
He pointed out that Japan is going against the general tendency of the world by accelerating the build-up of its military muscles, as other states are seeking peace and working towards development.
“The adoption by the lower house of Japan’s parliament on a new bill on expansion of the Self-Defense Forces is an unprecedented event since the end of the war, which could possibly lead to serious policy changes in Japan’s military security,” media reported Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascists War.
“At a time when people are remembering history and hoping for peace, we solemnly urge Japan to draw lessons from history and stick to the path of peaceful development,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
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