China / Politics

China grills Japan on nuclear policies

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-02-25 21:55

BEIJING - A Chinese spokeswoman on Tuesday urged Japan to stick to the path of peaceful development as the Japanese cabinet plans to ease its self-imposed restrictions on arms exports by not ruling out delivering weapons to nations involved in international conflicts.

"For historical reasons, Japan's moves regarding its military and security policy are not only closely linked to the country's direction of development, but connected to security environments and strategic stability in the region," Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing. "So they are watched closely by the neighboring countries in Asia as well as the international community."

According to media reports, the Japanese government has drafted new arms export control guidelines to replace its long-held "three principles," its 1967 agreement on arms that bans weapons exports to nations involved in international conflicts. Critics believe the change will undermine Japan's pacifist stance after World War II.

Hua described the Japanese government's push to ease the restrictions as "worrisome" as the political atmosphere gets increasingly rightist in Japan.

"We hope the Japanese side will sincerely learn from history, pay attention to the Asian neighbors' security concern, follow the trend of the times as well as the path of peaceful development, and do more work that is conducive to regional peace and stability," said the spokeswoman.

During the briefing, Hua also reiterated China's appeal to Japan to face up to the concern of the international community over its large stockpile of nuclear materials.

Experts have speculated that the plutonium hoarded in Japan can be used for more than 100 years.

Hua urged Japan to explain to the international community how much plutonium it has and why it has so much of the material.

She noted that Japan, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has made a commitment to the world to maintain a balance between the demand and supply of nuclear materials as required by the nuclear watchdog.

"Why does the Japanese government keep such a large amount of sensitive nuclear materials that overwhelmingly dwarf its civilian demands, regardless of the IAEA regulations and its commitment?" asked the spokeswoman.

"How can the Japanese government make sure the large amount of sensitive nuclear materials it stocks will not cause nuclear security and proliferation risks as the Fukushima nuclear problem has not been completely resolved?" she added.

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