Tokyo [Japan], March 7 (ANI): Japanese defense officials on Sunday said that they intend to closely monitor how China will increase its defense spending this year, reported NHK World.
As per this year's draft budget at the annual session of the National People's Congress, which opened on Friday, the Chinese government increased its defense budget by 6.8 per cent from last year to about 209 billion dollars. That's around four times Japan's defense budget for fiscal 2021, starting in April, reported NHK World.
The increase in defense budget reflects Beijing's urge in maritime activities.
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and their have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters.
Japan controls the islands but China and Taiwan also lay their claim. The Japanese government maintains the islands as an inherent part of Japan's territory, in terms of history and international law. It said that there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them, reported NHK World.
The Japanese government plans to call on the Chinese side to increase transparency through security talks and exchanges as they are unaware of the type of equipment Beijing is planning to deploy.
Further, they reiterated to closely analyze and monitor the activities of the Chinese military.
Meanwhile, amid attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas by China, the United States and Japan on Thursday held bilateral security discussions on Beijing's Coast Guard Law.
In January, China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, passed the coastguard law that empowers the coastguard to use "all necessary means" to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters "under China's jurisdiction".
It allows the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary.
Under the new law, coastguard personnel can demolish structures built or installed by other countries in Chinese-claimed waters and board and inspect foreign ships in the area.
China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions. (ANI)