China Says Japan Defense Report 'Irresponsible'


Beijing has dismissed concerns raised in a Japanese government report over China's military activity as "groundless" and "irresponsible", adding it had raised formal objections with Tokyo.

China's foreign ministry was responding to Japan's annual defense white paper, released Tuesday, which warned of a "lack of transparency" in Beijing's military strategy and described its response to disputes with neighbors as "assertive".

"China strongly opposes the groundless criticism on China's normal national defense development and military activities, and the irresponsible remarks on China's internal affairs," ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement late Tuesday.

China has already made "solemn representations" with Japan, he added.

Japan's defense report said the shifting relationship between China's one-party government and the military posed a challenge for Tokyo, with Beijing's actions becoming less predictable.

Tensions between the Asian powerhouses rose last month after Chinese vessels twice entered waters near the resource-rich disputed East China Sea islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, sparking a diplomatic row.

The uninhabited outcrops were the scene of a particularly nasty row in late 2010 when Japan arrested a Chinese trawlerman who had rammed two of its coastguard vessels.

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