Russia on Thursday criticized Japan’s new defense policies, warning that they could escalate tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan recently shed its longstanding pacifist policy, pledging increased defense spending and allowing its armed forces to acquire “counterstrike capabilities.”
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is “rejecting the country’s peaceful development” and “has embarked on the path of an unprecedented build-up of its military power, including strike potential,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
Tokyo is “returning to unlimited militarization, which will inevitably provoke new security challenges and exacerbate tensions in the Asia-Pacific region,” she warned.
“We would like to remind you that we have long been warning about the dangers of Tokyo's pointed evasion from recognizing the WWII results, which provide the foundations for the modern international order,” Zakharova said.
“After refusing to condemn the misanthropic ideology of the Nazi regime, the main ally of militaristic Japan in that war, at the UN General Assembly, Japan is now taking consistent steps to revive its military potential, which would enable it to attack neighboring countries.”
She pointed out that Tokyo’s decision to ramp up defense expenses by as much as 2% of its GDP “was taken amid a less than satisfactory situation in the national economy and the growing structural imbalances in the country’s state budget.”
“This only reinforces the assessment that the Kishida government is prepared to go much further in achieving its military ambitions than the plans they announced, and to get tightly integrated into the US geopolitical games,” she added.