China on Friday put pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to change the country's pacifist security policy, a day after his government held an meeting of experts tasked with reviewing its defense posture.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press conference that Japan should not increase regional tensions and "create excuses for its military expansion."
Due to "historical reasons," the spokesman said, the direction in which Japan is heading, in terms of politics and security, "draws high attention from its Asian neighbors."
"We hope Japan will take the path of peaceful development, take history as a mirror and respect the concerns of other countries in the region," he said.
On Thursday, Abe told the inaugural meeting of experts that Japan should be more active in ensuring global peace and stability.
"We need to have a more integrated national security policy," Abe said, stressing the need to be more "strategic and systematic" in addressing security issues.
Abe has been keen on strengthening the capabilities of Japan's Self-Defense Forces amid China's growing maritime assertiveness and North Korea's repeated provocations.