Japan's defence minister slams nuclear neighbours who 'ignore rules'

Manoeuvres by China and Russia have sharpened security concerns in East Asia

Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said in unusually strong comments on Saturday, adding that Japan was on the front lines as neighbours tried to upend international norms.

"Japan is surrounded by actors that possess, or are developing, nuclear weapons, and that openly ignore rules,"

Kishi said in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier security meeting.

In May, China and Russia conducted a joint aerial patrol in waters close to Japan and Taiwan, their first since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Joint military operations between these two strong military powers will undoubtedly increase concern among other countries," he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the same point in no uncertain terms in his Shangri-La Dialogue keynote speech the night before..

saying his country would call for increased defence spending and possibly seek advanced strike weapons.

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