China's Defense Ministry has rejected accusations from Japan that the Chinese military is destabilizing the regional military balance by seeking to change the status-quo in the East and South China Seas.

A ministry statement issued late Tuesday said assertions in Japan's annual defense report sought to deceive the international community and sow discord between China and its neighbors.

The statement reiterated China's claim to disputed East China Sea islands controlled by Japan and said it was Japan that altered the status-quo by purchasing the chain from its private owners in 2012.

A Chinese navy warship recently entered a strip of water just outside Japanese-claimed waters in the area.

The Chinese statement also criticized Japan for passing legislation loosening post-World War II constraints on its military.