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China urges respect for neighbors' security concerns after Japan approves record defense budget


 , Updated 20:56, 29-Mar-2024

China urges Japan to respect neighboring countries' security concerns and deeply reflect its history of aggression, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said on Friday in a query about Japan's record 7.95 trillion yen ($52.52 billion) defense budget for the 2024 fiscal year.

In recent years, Japan has been consistently increasing its defense budget and easing restrictions on arms exports, as well as seeking breakthroughs in military development, Lin noted. 

Japan's parliament on Thursday approved the budget for the fiscal year 2024, starting in April. In terms of specific allocations, the 2024 fiscal year defense budget focuses on enhancing the country's counterstrike capabilities and strengthening missile defense systems.

The budget earmarks a hefty 734 billion yen for the research and deployment of long-range missiles.

In bolstering missile defense networks, Japan will spend 373.1 billion yen to procure two Aegis-equipped vessels scheduled to be commissioned in fiscal 2027 and 2028, respectively.

China hopes Japan will stick to the path of peaceful development so as to not further lose credibility among its Asian neighbors and the international community, Lin added.

Japanese protesters gathered on Thursday in front of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to rally against the government's record-high defense budget and further relaxation of arms export control.

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