Wednesday, January 19, 2005

China warns Japan against new defense plan

China Tuesday urged Japan to refrain from "unilateral
action" following reports that Tokyo has developed a
plan to defend islands in disputed parts of the East
China Sea.

"China always advocates that the disputes on this issue
between China and Japan should be resolved through
consultation," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan told
a regular briefing.

"Both sides should refrain from any unilateral action."

The Japanese plan calls for the dispatch of 55,000
troops as well as warplanes, destroyers and submarines
from Japan's main islands in the event of an attack on
Okinawa and other remote islands, Kyodo news agency said

The islands include the Senkakus, known in Chinese as
the Diaoyu islands, which both countries claim as their

"China takes this seriously and has reaffirmed on many
occasions that Diaoyu island and its related islands
have been part of Chinese territory since ancient
times," said Kong.

In November Japan made public its new defense guidelines
which for the first time explicitly point to China as a
potential threat, along with North Korea.

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