Stop boosting military power: China tells Japan

Beijing, Sep 14 (IANS) China has urged Japan to stop making excuses for boosting its military capacity after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his eagerness to advance national debate on lifting a self-imposed ban on collective self-defence.

"For historical reasons, Asian neighbours are highly concerned about Japan's development in terms of politics and security. We hope Japan will follow a peaceful development path," Xinhua quoted Hong Lei, China's foreign ministry spokesman, as saying Friday.

Japan should take history as a mirror, respect the concerns of countries in the region and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability, Hong said.

"Japan should stop creating or playing up tensions. Don't attempt to make excuses for boosting military capacity or adjusting military policies," Hong added.

Shinzo Abe Thursday vowed to beef up Japan's defence capability and promised active debate on the right to collective self-defence.

Meanwhile, a fleet of four China Coast Guard ships Saturday patrolled territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu islands, reported Xinhua.

The fleet conducted a comprehensive patrol in the troubled waters encompassing the Diaoyu islands, Huangwei Yu, Beixiao Dao and Nanxiao Dao in two groups, according to a state oceanic administration statement.

During the patrol, the fleet ordered Japanese ships that had entered China's territorial waters to leave the area immediately in accordance with Chinese law and regulations.

On Wednesday, China accused Japan of escalating provocation against Chinese sovereignty and said Japan must bear the consequences for it.

China's reaction came after Japan Tuesday stated that it was considering a move to station government workers on the disputed group of islands.

The disputed islands are known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China.