Japan terms China's maritime activities 'dangerous'

Tokyo, July 9 (IANS) Japan Tuesday released its annual defence white paper, which said it was concerned about what it called China's "potentially dangerous maritime activities", a media report said. Beijing said Japan was "deliberately creating tension" between both sides.

The white paper for 2013 released by the defence ministry also expressed concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile development programmes, Xinhua reported.

The report, the first one issued under the government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Pyongyang's ballistic missiles are potentially capable of reaching the US.

Japan's Kyodo news agency said the report emphasises key issues that could threaten Japanese sovereignty in view of what it termed an "increasingly assertive" China and "unpredictable" North Korea.

Citing a January incident in which Japan said a Chinese navy frigate locked its weapons radar on a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer in the East China Sea, the white paper criticised Beijing for denying using the radar and accused it of giving false explanations over the incident.

Beijing has consistently dismissed Japan's complaints about the radar-locking as "groundless".

The white paper also speaks about the possibility of enabling Japan to attack an enemy base as an effective "deterrence" against ballistic missile threats.

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying Tuesday described the report as an attempt to play up the "China threat".

She said Japan's efforts to bolster its military were "worrisome".

The spokeswoman Japan was "deliberately creating tension" between both sides. Political forces in Japan were using the tension to justify the expansion of the country's military.

Relations between both sides deteriorated after Japan "purchased" part of the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea last year.

Hua said China cannot be criticised for carrying out normal maritime activities according to international law.

China will stick to its route of peaceful development, and has always insisted on resolving territorial and maritime disputes through dialogue and consultation, the spokeswoman said.

"At the same time, China will never allow any country to infringe on its territorial integrity," she said.

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