China urges ‘practical action’ from Japan after Abe calls snap election

By Global Times – Xinhua Source:Global Times - Xinhua Published: 2017/9/25 23:28:40

China urged Japan to take practical action to gain the trust of the world for its peaceful development after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Monday that he will dissolve parliament's lower house to pave the way for a general election.

China's foreign ministry warned Abe of his decision, which was believed to help reduce opposition to amending his country's constitution with the part involving Self-Defense Forces, at a daily briefing on Monday.

Japan's move to strengthen its military, whether it abides by the peaceful constitution or not, is being closely watched by the international community, including Asian countries, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

"We hope Japan could take practical action to gain the international community's trust and insist on the path of peaceful development," Lu said.

Regarding amendments to the constitution, the Liberal Democratic Party has been considering campaigning for adding a provision defining the legal grounds for the Self-Defense Forces, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun reported in September.

Abe reiterated his determination to amend the supreme law by adding a clause clearly defining the Self-Defense Forces in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun in early July, while his ability to dissolve parliament's lower house and call a general election has always been regarded as a hurdle to amending the constitution.

Abe said that he announced a snap election to seek a fresh mandate to overcome a national crisis caused by "the biggest challenge facing Japan, which is the aging population and low birthrate," as well as security challenges.

Abe's decision to call for a snap election has drawn staunch criticism from opposition parties, which accused the prime minister of fleeing from cronyism accusations.

Shortly before Abe announced his plan to dissolve the lower house, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said she would establish a new political party at the national level, and that the party would be called "Kibou no To," which means Party of Hope in English.


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