Chinese official slams ‘military threat’ report

Kyodo

China on Thursday slammed a newspaper report that a Japanese government panel is expected to describe China as a military threat.

China’s military budget is $25.5 billion, compared with Japan’s $60 billion budget, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan. But Japan has one-10th of China’s population and one-25th its land mass, he said.

“So according to this situation, for this kind of report to come out of the steamer is a total neglect of facts,” Kong said. “We won’t under any circumstances harm the interests of our neighboring countries.”

Because of China’s increasing military expenditure, the advisory panel to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected to call China a military threat in a report due out at the end of the month, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a leading business daily.

Yasukuni entreaty New Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi voiced hope Thursday that the two countries would work to resolve a row over visits by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

“I think we can find clues to resolve the issue if we respect each other’s public feelings as permanent neighbors and base ourselves on certain principles,” Wang told reporters after visiting Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda.

But Wang said he did not explicitly raise the Yasukuni issue during his courtesy call on Hosoda at the prime minister’s office.

Hosoda later told a news conference, “We did discuss such things as that our relations are such that we complement each other and help each other, so we can get over difficulties even through we have some.”