Japanese Diplomatic Blue Book Deeply Concerned About China’s Military Expansion and Maritime Activities

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimichi Mogi reported on the 2021 edition of Japan’s Diplomatic Blue Book at a Cabinet meeting on the 27th. The Blue Book states that China’s military expansion and maritime activities “have become a deep concern for the security of the region and the international community, including Japan”.

The 2020 edition of the Blue Book on Diplomacy used the phrase “has become a matter of concern for the region and the international community,” and this year the tone has been further strengthened to rein in China. The Blue Book notes that China’s military spending has increased 44-fold over the past 30 years, but the detailed breakdown of the budget and the intent of the increase is unclear.

The Blue Book expresses “deep concern” about China’s Marine Police Law, which allows the Marine Police Bureau to use weapons, and considers it problematic under international law. The Blue Book focuses on the increasingly strained “U.S.-China relationship,” with much of the Diplomatic Blue Book dealing with China, detailing the confrontation between the United States and China and arguing that “the balance of power in the international community is shifting significantly.

The Blue Book describes this month’s summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden, emphasizing that the meeting “resulted in a consensus on continuing to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held his first face-to-face summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on the afternoon of the 16th (early on the 17th, Japan time). The two heads of state issued a joint statement after the talks, making it clear that “Japan and the United States, while emphasizing the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, urged a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues.” However, the 2021 edition of the Diplomatic Blue Book does not mention “the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” which was included in the Japan-U.S. joint statement, probably in consideration of the Chinese side.

The Blue Book on Diplomacy also mentions Hong Kong and Xinjiang and expresses concerns.

The Blue Book argues that the successive incidents of Chinese Coast Guard vessels entering what Japan considers to be “territorial waters” around the Diaoyu Islands “violate international law,” noting that in October 2020, Chinese Coast Guard vessels entered what Japan considers to be “territorial waters. “The longest stay in the area considered by Japan as “territorial waters” was 57 hours at a time, and the number of days sailing in the area adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands in 2020 was as many as 333 days, saying that “the situation is becoming increasingly serious. Regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan as a state guest, it was written that “the focus should be on quelling the New Crown epidemic, and it has not yet reached the stage of coordinating the schedule”.