Democratic Party of Japan President Seiji Maehara‘s comment during his recent visit to the United States and Beijing that China’s military buildup was “of concern” was lapped up even by some ruling party lawmakers.
The DPJ has traditionally sought to maintain friendly ties with China. But Beijing, apparently irritated by Maehara’s comments, did not let him meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, who was said not to have time to talk with the DPJ leader. Beijing often keeps visiting politicians critical of the Chinese regime at a distance from its top-ranking leaders.
“The Japanese people feel threatened by the expansion of China’s military budget,” Maehara said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday. “I’m confident and proud that I said what I had to say.”