Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has described as “extremely regrettable” Chinese President Xi Jinping’s failure to refer to reconciliation with Japan during a speech on the sidelines of a military parade in Beijing on Thursday.
“We had requested that this (Thursday’s) event (to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II) include elements of reconciliation between Japan and China, not a so-called anti-Japan feature,” Suga said at a news conference on the same day.
Suga cited a history of friendship between the two countries since normalization of diplomatic ties in 1972 and two rounds of talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi in November last year and April this year.
“But President Xi Jinping made no reference to such elements. I think it was extremely regrettable,” the top government spokesman said.
Speaking at a separate news conference, Katsuya Okada, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, expressed a similar view.
“As a Japanese national, I found it regrettable. I would like (China) to take into account cooperation and confidence Japan and China have achieved over 70 years after the war,” Okada said.
Suga said Japan expected China to go ahead with a planned cut to its armed forces of 300,000 personnel, as announced earlier in the day by Xi, in a highly transparent manner.
“We would like to expect that China will cut the number of People’s Liberation Army troops with high transparency,” he said. “The Japanese government has been strongly demanding that China enhance transparency in its military power.”
China is the new military bad boy on the block making Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security reforms looking more like precaution than a resurgence of past aggression.