Japan PM vows to step up China ties but bolster defense

Japan PM vows to step up China ties but bolster defense
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Tokyo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to further expand Japan’s already improving ties with China but stressed the need to bolster defense capability as far as space amid concern about China’s military activity.

Abe’s comments came in a policy speech at the start of the parliamentary session Monday. He said bilateral relations have returned to “normal” since he visited Beijing in October and that Japan wants to further elevate Japanese-Chinese cooperation in trade and other areas.

He said Japan however needs to expand its defense capability against the potential threat of space and cyber wars as China rapidly advances its aerospace technology.

Abe is hoping to lead his party to win parliamentary elections in July and strengthen his grip on power until 2021 or possibly beyond. AP