By MARI YAMAGUCHI, The Associated Press

ENIWA, Japan (AP) — Dozens of Japanese tanks are participating in a major exercise on the northern island of Hokkaido in a display of military power that coincides with a recent escalation of Chinese and Russian military moves around Japanese territory.

Japan has so far focused on its defensive capabilities and carefully avoids using the word "military" for its troops.

But as it looks to defend its territorial and military interests against an assertive China, North Korea and Russia, officials in Tokyo are pushing citizens to put aside widespread unease over a more robust military.

Meanwhile critics, both Japan's neighbors and at home, are urging Tokyo to learn from its past and pull back from military expansion.

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