Tokyo: China`s opaque spending on its huge and growing military is a "concern" for the world community, Japan said Wednesday, after Beijing revealed another double digit budget hike.
"The transparency of China`s defence policy and military capacity, or lack thereof, has become a matter of concern for the international community, including Japan," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
The comments came after Beijing unveiled a 12.2 percent rise in its 2014 budget for what is already the world`s largest armed forces, as it seeks military clout in line with its new-found economic strength.
They also come after China lashed out at a five percent rise in Japan`s military budget over five years, which was approved late last year by the cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"The Chinese defence budget for 2014 shows a double digit increase from the previous year," said Suga. "The government takes note of that, and we will continue to monitor the trend going forward.
"By co-operating with countries concerned and the international community, we will call on China to increase the transparency of its defence policy."
Suga also offered a rebuttal to a barely-veiled criticism of Japan with the Chinese assertion that it would "safeguard the victory of World War II and the post-war international order, and will not allow anyone to reverse the course of history".
Japan will "absolutely never, ever reverse the course of history," he said.
"During the post-war period until today, we have walked on a path of freedom, peace and democracy. It is our path and our basic policy."