The Japanese government has now decided to consider the issue of status quo and independence of Taiwan as the red line for the stability of the region, and has increasingly become concerned about the possible altercation with China for the same. China accuses Japan of “grossly intruding in its domestic affairs” after Tokyo increased the importance of the Taiwan Strait in its annual defence report, for the first time urging vigilance ‘with a sense of crisis’ over the self-ruled island’s stability.
Because of China’s military growth and the competition between China and the United States, Japan has stated that it is facing increased security challenges. According to the defence white paper, mainland China’s military activity surrounding Taiwan has increased, with 380 Chinese jets expected to enter Taiwan’s southern air defence zone in 2020. With all these activities among other reasons, Japan has increased its vigil and threat perception vis a vis China’s activities and actions in relations to Taiwan.
“Stabilising the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for Japan’s security and the stability of the international community. Therefore, it is necessary that we pay close attention to the situation with a sense of crisis more than ever before,” the paper said. “The overall military balance between China and Taiwan is tilting to China’s favour, and the gap appears to be growing year by year. Attention should be paid to trends such as the strengthening of Chinese and Taiwanese forces, the sale of weapons to Taiwan by the United States, and Taiwan’s own development of its main military equipment.”
Japan has emerged as one of the most vocal China hawks in the last year. Chinese aggressiveness in the East China Sea and on the Senkaku Islands has persuaded Tokyo that Beijing’s objectives are nefarious, and that Japan must play a leading role in regional security. As a result, Japan’s deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso has indicated that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be considered an existential threat to Tokyo’s security, allowing Japan to join the United States in defending the self-ruled island.
Recently, Japan’s deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso has spelt out his country’s policy in the event of a Chinese invasion over Taiwan. While delivering a speech in Tokyo on Monday, Japan’s second-in-command was quoted as saying, “If a major incident happened (over Taiwan), it’s safe to say it would be related to a situation threatening the survival (of Japan). If that is the case, Japan and the U.S. must defend Taiwan together.” Taro Aso, who serves concurrently as finance minister and also sits on the country’s National Security Council is known for his outspokenness. He added, “We need to think hard that Okinawa could be the next.”
Joanne Ou, a spokeswoman for Taiwan’s foreign ministry, expressed gratitude to Japan for its “high level of concern about security in the Taiwan Strait,” saying that Japan saw Taiwan as an important partner and friend with whom it shared the basic concepts of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, as well as close economic and personnel ties.
“Our government will continue to closely work with Japan and like-minded countries to firmly safeguard democratic values and international order and in joint effort to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” she said. Since their separation in 1949 due to civil conflict, Taiwan and mainland China have been governed independently. Since then, Beijing has viewed Taiwan as a renegade province in need of reunification, by force if necessary, and is alarmed by Tsai Ing-administration; Wen’s which it perceives as pro-independence.
However, Japan has made it clear to Xi Jinping and China that any action on Taiwan will be dealt with as a counter action that will be very problematic for the CCP. Japan has some big plans for China and they don’t look good for the paper dragon.