Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Monday that Japan will continue to keep close tabs on China after its announcement of a double-digit hike in its defense budget in 2012 and urged Beijing to be transparent in revealing the details.
“There are some parts in the breakdown of China’s defense budget that are unclear, and it is desirable to boost the transparency in the defense budget and China’s (overall) defense policies,” Fujimura said.
China said Sunday it plans to increase defense spending 11.2 percent in 2012 from a year earlier to 670.27 billion yuan, or $106.39 billion, posting double-digit growth for the second straight year.
Fujimura said Japan will continue to seek further transparency in Beijing’s defense policies through security dialogue and exchanges.
China’s growing military buildup has raised concerns among neighbors, including Japan, with whom it has a claim over the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
On Saturday, the central government said it had named 39 more uninhabited islands around Japan, including those near the Senkaku Islands, irking China, along with Taiwan, which both claim the islets.
In an apparent countermeasure, China has released the names of 70 islands around the Senkakus, which it calls Diaoyu, while a spokesman said Beijing “firmly opposes” Japan’s naming of the four islands near the Senkakus.