Japanese PM Shinzo Abe presenting his hefty defence White paper 2020, justified his purchase of costly arsenals and weapons from the US citing the clear threat from China and North Korea.
Presenting the Defence white paper, Abe said China is pushing harder to make territorial claims in the regional seas and even using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence and take strategic superiority, posing a greater threat to Japan and the region.
The Abe government has steadily raised the defence budget to strengthen its defence capabilities in case it brushes with the regional heavy weight China and its political sibling N Korea, both nuclear powers. Abe’s White Paper also blamed China of using propaganda, including spreading disinformation, about the spread of the coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may expose and intensify strategic competition among countries intending to create international and regional orders more preferable to themselves and to expand their influence,” the report said. “We need to closely watch their move with serious concern affecting the national security”, added Abe.
A Japanese Defence Ministry official cited as a misinformation propaganda that a Chinese Foreign Ministry official had posted on Twitter in March accusing US military of spreading the coronavirus in Wuhan and that Chinese media has touted herbal medicine as effective COVID-19 treatments.