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Defense report warns of China raising tension

A Japanese defense report has expressed grave concern over China's declaration of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea. It says the move by Beijing is a dangerous one that is raising tension in the region.

The Defense Ministry report for 2014 also refers to China's increased maritime activities in the East and South China seas.

It says Beijing is using its military might to try to change the status quo based on its own claims, which are inconsistent with international rules.

The report also warns that China's announced defense spending increased by roughly 40 times over the past 26 years.
The report says Japan is deeply concerned by the announcement of the air defense identification zone, which covers an area that includes the Senkaku Islands.

Japan controls the islands, but China and Taiwan also claim them.

It says the zone unilaterally changed the status quo and could trigger an unexpected incident.

The report also expresses concern over North Korea.

It warns the North may wrongly believe it can deter the United States by successfully extending the range of its ballistic missiles and developing compact nuclear weapons or nuclear warheads. It says this could cause the North to increase its military provocations.

The report stresses the security situation around Japan is becoming increasingly severe.

It also explains the decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet to change the interpretation of the Constitution to enable Japan to use its right to collective self-defense.

The defense paper will be reported at a Cabinet meeting and released early next month.

Jul. 17, 2014 - Updated 02:01 UTC