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May 01, 2015, China Daily
China voiced its opposition on Thursday to “any interference by regional outsiders” indisputes between the country and its neighbors. The Ministry of National Defense’s response follows accusations made against China bythe United States and Japan over the South China Sea issue. “No one should underestimate our determination and capability to champion our justifiedrights and interests,” ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a news conference.
On Tuesday, standing alongside visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, USPresident Barack Obama backed Japan’s so-called administration over China’s DiaoyuIslands, and accused China of “flexing its muscles” over the South China Sea issue. According to newly revised bilateral defense guidelines announced during the visit, Japancould deploy its Self-Defense Forces in remote areas worldwide by playing a moreproactive role with reduced limits on the use of force to support US military operations. Geng said Beijing has been focusing on the US-Japan guidelines and on the China-relatedcomments made by senior officials.
As the US-Japan alliance is strengthening and its area of cooperation seeks a global reach, “the potential impact brought to world peace and stability deserves great attention from allparties”, he said. Yang Bojiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the alliancebetween the US and Japan is “serving Washington’s ultimate goal of securing hegemony inthe region”. In a high-profile speech on Wednesday, Abe expressed “deep remorse” over Japan’s”actions” before and during World War II that “brought suffering” to other Asian countries.
He soon drew criticism because he again failed to deliver an unequivocal apology. South Korea said on Thursday that Abe should have used the occasion to show “a correcthistorical perception”, Yonhap News Agency reported in Seoul. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Beijing has been consistently callingfor the Japanese government to take a responsible attitude toward history.
Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China expects Japan to “remain committed to thestatements and promises delivered by past Cabinets regarding facing up squarely andrepenting thoroughly about past aggression — such as those delivered by the MurayamaStatement”. “Only by doing so can Japan gain trust from the international community”, Hong said. The Murayama Statement was released by then Japanese prime minister TomiichiMurayama on Aug 15, 1995. In it, he apologized for the damage and suffering caused byJapan to its Asian neighbors.
Feng Wei, a professor of Japanese studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the UShas recently sent signals to Japan on tackling historical issues. These signals were sent because the remarks made by Abe are “impacting US interests aswell as the trilateral collaboration among the US, Japan and South Korea”, Feng said.