Japan has for the first time referred to the importance of stability around Taiwan in its annual defense report, ratcheting up its concerns over the island that has been a flashpoint in tensions between China and the U.S.

The wording in the "Defense of Japan” white paper released Tuesday is set to increase friction between the two biggest economies in Asia. Beijing already lashed out at Tokyo in May for "irresponsible and wrong” comments after Kyodo News said the unprecedented language on Taiwan was planned for the annual defense report.

"The stability of the situation around Taiwan is important, not only for the security of our country, but for the stability of the international community,” the Defense Ministry said in its white paper. "Our country must pay close attention to this, with an even greater sense of vigilance.”