(From China Daily)

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi said Thursday that the world is watching Japan’s reactions as the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II nears.

The foreign minister made the comment to Chinese reporters after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a series of meetings on East Asia cooperation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Of course we are waiting to see (Japan’s next moves),” CCTV reported Wang as saying.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet are trying to pass new security bills through Japan’s upper house, triggering nationwide protests as observers said the bills are believed to betray the spirit of its pacifist Constitution.

Wang, a former Chinese ambassador to Japan, said that the recent changes in Japan’s military and defense policies “naturally lead to concerns of many countries, especially neighboring countries”.

“We hope that Japan could continue taking the path of peaceful development, which they have stuck to,” Wang said.

Lyu Yaodong, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that “Japan has not resolved its history issue”, and that it is still attempting to beautify or deny its history of aggression.

Patrol planes

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces' TC-90 training aircraft is seen in this undated handout photo released by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces
A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces’ TC-90 training aircraft is seen in this undated handout photo released by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces

Also on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of National Defense reacted to reports of Japan supplying patrol planes to the Philippines that would be used to monitor activities in the South China Sea.

Reuters cited four anonymous sources as saying that Tokyo wants to provide the Philippines with three Beechcraft TC-90 King Air planes equipped with surface and air surveillance radar, though Manila reportedly preferred a more advanced aircraft, the Lockheed Martin P3-C, which may have the capability to track China’s submarine activity.

The US had asked Japan to provide training programs and maintenance for any planes it gives the Philippines, a US military source told Reuters.

The information office of the Ministry of National Defense told China Daily in a written response, “China hopes that the military cooperation by relevant countries contributes to the peace and stabilization of the region, not the contrary.”

The spokesperson’s office of the Foreign Ministry stated that China hopes to see the parties involved do more to contribute to “improving mutual trust among countries in the region”.

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