Tokyo/Beijing – China is trying to change the regional status quo by using force, accuses Japan’s new Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. The statement of the Japanese PM signals that Japan will be adopting an aggressive stance over Chinese dominance. Promptly, he targeted China over Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Human Rights issues. Information has cropped up that PM Kishida appointed a special adviser on Human Rights in China.
Before becoming Prime Minister, Kishida has held the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan from 2012 to 2017. During this period, he was seen taking an aggressive stance against China. He had also made explicit statements about China during the presidential election campaigns. These include statements on the Senkaku Islands and Taiwan. Against this background, his accusation against China on his very first day as Prime Minister draws attention.
There are signs of the dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the ‘East China Sea’ between China and Japan getting aggravated. It has surfaced in the past few years that Chinese efforts to intrude in the region have escalated. Chinese fishing vessels, warships, submarines as well as survey aircraft have been striking over this region. Japan expresses grave concern against these intrusions; it signals increased patrols and defence preparedness in this region. Last month, Japan’s Ministry of Defense submitted an increased defence expenditure proposal to the government that demands more than $50 billion in funds for 2022.
In the wake of the remarks made by the new Japanese PM, the Chinese official mouthpiece has warned Japan to be cautious. The Global Times has warned that Kishida should maintain balance while handling relations with the United States and China. The Chinese mouthpiece has directly conveyed that Japan’s new PM should not target China on human rights issues.