Japan has accused China of being assertive over maritime issues and taking actions that effectively amount to a "fait accompli".
In a Defence White Paper released on Tuesday, less than a month after an arbitration court in The Hague invalidated China's sweeping claims in the disputed South China Sea, Japan said China's recent actions were a matter of deep concern.
In the 484 page review, the defence ministry said the aggressive actions by China are "deeply concerning" and could cause "unintended consequences", referring to past incidents including one where a Chinese warship entered a disputed zone in the East China Sea.
"China is poised to fulfil its unilateral demands without compromise, which has included making steady efforts to turn these coercive changes to the status quo into a fait accompli." added the government in the review.
However, China's official Xinhua news agency vehemently condemned the review. "The real purpose of the document is to tarnish China's image, contain China's peaceful rise, and offset its growing international influence, particularly its clout in the Asia Pacific," it said in an English-language commentary.
China has claimed vast swathes of the waterway, which accounts for most of the 3.5-million-square-km South China Sea, with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also staking claims.
This vast claim of China intimidates Japan, which otherwise has no territorial claims in the region. Japan strongly fears that the Chinese military bases will strengthen Beijing's influence over a region through which a majority of Japan's trade takes place.
Moreover, Japan, to make its hold stronger in the disputed region, has been providing equipment and training to the Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines and Vietnam, which are opposed to China's territorial ambitions.