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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China concerned about Japan dispatching troops to Iraq: FM spokeswoman

PLA Daily 2004-02-04

BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said here Tuesday that China is concerned about Japan sending troops to Iraq.

In response to a question at a press conference, spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said the Chinese side is concerned over the issue.

As Japan's neighbor, Zhang said, China hopes Japan will seriously draw lessons from history, be cautious in making moves in the area of military security and adhere to the path of peaceful development.

This is the only way that is in Japan's fundamental interests and conducive to the maintenance of regional peace and stability, Zhang said.

Japan's military maneuvers have always been a sensitive issue for people of neighboring Asian countries for well-known historical reasons, she said.

In recent years, Japan has adopted a number of measures in the area of military security, arousing serious concerns in Japan and its neighboring countries about the direction of its military policy, she said.

The troop dispatch to Iraq is another major step which is sure to arouse further misgivings and worries from people, Zhang said.

According to reports, the first batch of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces (SDF) left for Iraq Tuesday. Observers say it is the first time that SDF went to another country's territory in a state of war and also the first time that SDF was empowered with the right of self-defense to use armed force

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