Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna
Tokyo: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the country is set to stand up to China as Beijing threatened dire consequences, if provoked.
In an interview to Wall Street Journal, Abe said that in the recent meeting with South East Asian leaders he had realised that the region sought leadership from Tokyo to counter growing power of China.
"There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won`t be able to emerge peacefully," he told the newspaper.
Relations between Japan and China have turned sour in the recent past. The prominent cause of the conflict between the two nations is the claims to uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known in Japan as the Senkaku islands and in China as Diaoyu.
A top Chinese diplomat on Saturday said that if Japan will attack its unmanned drones, Beijing would consider it as an act of war.
The statement by the Chinese diplomat was in reference to the Japanese media report which had stated that Abe has approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave its airspace.
"Don`t underestimate the Chinese Army in protecting its territorial sovereignty,” China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng had said on the ministry`s website.
On October 15, a senior Chinese government official also had visited Japan to have peaceful talks with Japanese officials in order to improve bilateral relations between the two countries.