Beijing was bothered by the military build-up of Japan and condemned the country for its adoption of a “Cold War mentality”, as told by a Chinese diplomat to his Japanese counterpart.
In the initial moments of the meeting with the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shigeo Yamada, the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Sun Weidong, showed concern regarding the release of the new defence and security documents by Japan in December 2022. The security talks were held in Tokyo and aimed to alleviate tensions between the East Asian neighbouring countries. Owing to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Japan is distraught by Beijing as it may avail military action to take control of Taiwan. The last such meeting was held in Beijing in February 2019.
Japan’s National Security Documents
Three key security and defence documents got the approval of the Japanese cabinet on December 16, 2022. These documents include the National Defense Strategy (previously the National Defense Program Guidelines), the National Security Strategy (NSS), and the Defense Capability Enhancement Plan (previously the Medium-Term Defense Program).
These security policy revisions are considered the most complex and critical security revision since Second World War. The revisions are termed necessary by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to uplift the military strength of the country and its diplomatic power and comprises of a new “counterstrike capability” and a doubling of defence expenditure to two percent of the GDP of Japan by 2027.
Series of Bilateral Meetings Between Japan and China
The defence and foreign ministry officials of the two countries have commenced a series of talks in Tokyo on Tuesday. Deputy director general of the Japanese Defense Ministry’s Defense Policy Bureau, Atsushi Ando, and deputy director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Chinese Central Military Commission, Zhang Baoqun, joined the meeting held on Tuesday. Another meeting in Tokyo was attended by diplomats like Japan’s Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Shigeo Yamada and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong.
Other Issues Discussed
The officials will be focusing on boosting economic exchanges and alleviating their distorted relations. The bilateral relations between the two Asian powers were affected by issues like Beijing-claimed, Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands, which is named as Diaoyu by Chinese and the frequent infiltering into the Japanese Waters around the uninhabited islets by the Chinese coast guard vessels.
Chinese Spy Balloon Incident
The talks have been initiated after a week when the Japanese Defence Ministry claimed about three unidentified flying objects that were discerned over the territorial airspace of Japan in a span of three years from 2019, being dubious distinct as the Chinese spy balloons.
Beijing has totally denied these allegations and denounced Japan for making false allegations without clear evidence. China has also tried to pursue Japan to avoid following the U.S. in blaming the country for using such incidents to propagandise against China. The officials of Japan said on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, that contraventions of the territorial skies of Japan by balloons are impermissible and should be unsnarled to avoid unwanted actions.