« スラチャイタイ国歌に涙する2 | トップページ | スーダンPKO »

2008年7月 1日 (火)


(Jul. 1, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Ships' visits promote military transparency

自衛艦訪中 軍事の透明性向上につなげよ(7月1日付・読売社説)

Ten years of work on military exchanges between Japan and China is finally bearing fruit. Japan should further continue its effort to increase the transparency of China's military.


The Maritime Self-Defense Force's destroyer Sazanami completed its five-day visit to Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, in China. The first visit to a China port by a MSDF warship, it was a reciprocal visit after a Chinese Navy ship visited Japan for the first time in November last year.



The Sazanami carried earthquake relief supplies for victims of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province in May, including blankets, emergency canned meals and medical supplies. The Japanese government initially planned to use the Air Self-Defense Force's C-130 transport planes to transport aid to China, but the plan was shelved after strong objections to the plan were voiced by the Chinese public. Meanwhile, the delivery of the relief supplies by Sazanami was carried out smoothly.


Chinese authorities welcomed the visit by the MSDF warship, but criticism could be found on the Internet.


The idea of reciprocal visits by each country's warships--a typical event for the early stage of military exchanges--had been considered since the end of 1990s. Although the realization was substantially delayed following trips to Yasukuni Shrine by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, it was decided to carry out the plan during the visit to Japan by Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan last summer.



Joint exercises


The Sazanami took part alongside Chinese ships in communications exercises, including use of radio and signalling lights, and maneuvering drills to form a line. This first joint drill between the SDF and Chinese military provided an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other's techniques and customs.


Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba is planning to visit China by the end of July, while a vice chief of General Staff of China's People's Liberation Army as well as top officials of the PLA's naval and air arms are scheduled to visit Japan within this year. Mutual visits by young military officers also are planned.


We hope that military exchanges steadily expand from now on. At the same time, through military exchanges, it is vital to encourage China to increase the transparency of its military--a concern in an international society--and to seek to foster trust.



China's defense spending has been rising by more than 10 percent annually for 20 consecutive years, making it the third largest military spender in the world, following the United States and Britain and surpassing France. However, almost no details of this spending have been revealed.



True figures masked


It is believed that the China's defense spending does not include arms procurement costs from overseas or research and development costs. Therefore, its real defense spending could be twice or three times as much as the shown figure.


Aiming to make its naval forces into a "blue water" navy, the Chinese Navy is expanding its sphere of activities for warships and submarines. Observers say this is to prevent U.S. intervention with its aircraft carriers in a potential conflict between China and Taiwan, but the real reason is not known.


("blue water" navy=海洋型海軍)

In recent years, China has been trying to tamp down the sentiment voiced abroad that China is a military threat. On the other hand, China remains extremely cautious about disclosure of military information. Japan needs to continue patiently persuading China in cooperation with countries concerned to be more open.



In April, the Japanese and Chinese governments began discussing the establishment of a liaison system to prevent unexpected contingencies at sea. A military hotline has been set up between the United States and China, and South Korea and China.


liaison=連絡、通信 発音注意:リエイゾンと発音される)(contingency=偶発、偶然、偶然性)

Dispatch of rescue services personnel at the time of a large-scale disaster is also an area on which Japan and China can join hands. Negotiating with China usually takes time, but we hope to advance step by step.


(join hands=協力する)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 1, 2008)

2008710147  読売新聞)


« スラチャイタイ国歌に涙する2 | トップページ | スーダンPKO »





« スラチャイタイ国歌に涙する2 | トップページ | スーダンPKO »