China slams Abe for 'reckless' move to bolster security role

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- China on Thursday lashed out at "reckless" remarks by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that reaffirmed his campaign to amend Tokyo's pacifist Constitution and bolster its security role, calling the move "excuses for its military build-up."

A day before he attended the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Abe said in his speech at the Hudson Institute that he would continue to work to lift a ban on collective self-defense, a move that would allow Japan to assist other allied nations if they were attacked.

This move by Abe, known for his nationalist agenda, has been criticized by South Korea and China as an attempt to expand Japan's military clout in the region.

Asked about Abe's speech in New York, China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei claimed that Japan "plays up tensions and keeps up confrontation so as to create excuses for its military build-up and adjustment to its military policy."

"Taking into consideration historical perspectives, the direction Japan is heading in terms of security and politics holds high attention from its Asian neighbors," Hong told a press briefing.

"Over the past period of time, the domestic forces in Japan have been trying to deny and whitewash its history of invasion and making such reckless remarks that have been condemned with one voice," Hong said.

"The Japanese side should face up to these concerns of the international community and take good attitude to express remorse for its history so as to win trust from the international community," Hong said.

South Korea, China and other Asian nations, which suffered brutal colonization by Japan's Imperial Army during World War II, have long resented unrepentant attitude by Japanese politicians over its wartime atrocities.

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