A Chinese newspaper has run a full-page advertisement under the caption, "Japan wants a war again." The ad shows a map of Japan with illustrations of mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both of which experienced US atomic bombings in 1945.
Chongqing Youth News carried the ad in its July 3rd edition. The weekly paper is affiliated with the city's youth league of the Chinese Communist Party.
An editorial on the next page claims Japan will be able to freely take part in wars overseas and use force. It was referring to Japan's Cabinet decision last week that allowed the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense.
The editorial also urges China to strengthen its military power and be on the alert against Japan. It says China has been too tolerant in its policies toward Japan over the past 40-plus years.
Chongqing Youth News has admitted to NHK that the ad was its own, but refused any explanation or comment on the purpose.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Tuesday that he will confirm the facts and firmly protest through Japan's Consulate General in Chongqing.
Kishida said it was imprudent for the paper to carry the illustrations. He said he finds them unacceptable both as foreign minister of the only country to experience atomic bombings and as a politician from Hiroshima.
Kishida rejected the paper's criticism of Japan's new defense policy. He said there is no change in Japan's position as a peace-loving nation, noting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it clear his country will never again engage in war.
Jul. 8, 2014 - Updated 07:29 UTC