China 'Very Concerned' as Japan's Defense Spending Reaches 'Historical Maximum'


China is concerned with the gradual, annual increase in Japan's defense budget and urges Tokyo to explain the real reasons behind this trend to the international community, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday.
The Japanese Defense Ministry issued on Wednesday a record-high budget request for the 2018 fiscal year beginning next April. According to the document, the ministry is seeking 5.25 trillion yen ($48 billion), a 2.5 percent increase from this year, to enhance its defense capabilities in the light of latest North Korean missile launches.
"We noted relevant statements, regardless of Japan's motives, its defense budget has been growing from year to year and has reached a historical maximum. China is very concerned with this fact," the diplomat said.
She stressed that Japan "should explain to the international community the true reason behind these actions."
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. The most recent test was conducted on Tuesday, when North Korea launched an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean 733 miles east of Japan's northern island Hokkaido.


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