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The Japanese minister of defence criticises nuclear neighbours that 'break regulations'

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - China and Russia's manoeuvres have heightened security concerns in East Asia, Japanese Defense Minist...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - China and Russia's manoeuvres have heightened security concerns in East Asia, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi stated in uncharacteristically forceful language on Saturday, adding that Japan is on the front lines as its neighbours attempt to subvert international rules.

"Japan is surrounded by actors who possess or are developing nuclear weapons and who blatantly disregard regulations," Kishi warned in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's largest security conference.

China and Russia launched their first combined aviation patrol near Japan and Taiwan since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in May.

"Joint military activities between these two formidable military forces will inevitably raise the level of worry among other nations," he warned.

In his Shangri-La Dialogue keynote address the night before, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the same point unequivocally, stating that his country would seek more defence spending and possibly enhanced strike weapons.

Tomorrow, Ukraine may be East Asia, he remarked.

Kishi stated on Saturday that the security and stability of the Taiwan Strait was equally vital for the security of Japan and the rest of the globe, referring to China as a "country of concern."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow refers to as a "special military operation," has alarmed Tokyo because it could normalise the use of military force to settle international disputes and encourage China to attempt to seize control of Taiwan, which is close to Japan and relies on maritime trade for its survival.

In his speech, Kishi criticised North Korea, which has conducted at least 18 missile launches this year, stating that the dictatorship could not threaten Japan, the region, or the world community.

Friday marked the beginning of the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, which attracts high-ranking military officials, diplomats, and weapons manufacturers from around the world.

In May, when standing alongside Kishida in Tokyo, President Joe Biden stated that the United States would engage militarily if China attacked Taiwan. Later, the White House stated that Biden's words did not indicate a shift in policy toward the island.

China claims that its recent military exercises near Taiwan, which it regards to be part of its territory, are intended to defend its sovereignty.

In a strategy paper released on Tuesday, the administration of Kishida stated its intention to significantly raise defence spending over the next five years.

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