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Asia

 

Japan's security fears grow as neighbours build up arms: Defence white paper

Published on Aug 5, 2014 9:46 AM
 
A rocket launcher during an exercise in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on July 15, 2014. Japan finds itself surrounded by a worsening security environment as North Korea pushes forward with missile development and China and Russia step up military activity in the region, Japan's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan finds itself surrounded by a worsening security environment as North Korea pushes forward with missile development and China and Russia step up military activity in the region, Japan's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry's annual white paper comes after intermittent testing by North Korea of ballistic missiles in defiance of a UN ban, and a record number of scrambles by Japanese fighter jets in April-June due to increased flights by Chinese and Russian planes close to Japan's air space.

"With a trend toward arms buildup and modernisation, and brisker military activity by neighbouring countries getting prominent, security challenges and destabilising factors for Japan and the rest of the Asia-Pacific are becoming more serious," the ministry said in the paper.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012 intent on easing the limits of the post-war pacifist constitution on the military to let Japan play a bigger global security role.

 
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