Military moves by North Korea and China in the region are “growing increasingly severe”, said prime minister Yoshihiko Noda in a speech addressed to a graduating class of Self-Defence Forces cadets in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Kyodo reported that Noda referred to North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities, as well to China’s “continuing vigorous activities in surrounding waters”.
China’s defense budget will for the first time top $100 billion this year, a 11.2 percent increase over last year, raising new concerns in the region about its rapid military development.
Noda also spoke about the close relationship between Japan and the U.S., which reached a new level after the 2011 natural disasters when the Americans got involved and helped Japan, in a humanitarian project called “Operation Tomodachi”.
”I felt even more keenly the bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance. I want you to support from your fields the efforts to deepen and develop this relationship,” the Japanese prime minister said to the graduating cadets.
Nearly 400 students were present at the graduating ceremony.