Ask any Japanese about the biggest security threat their nation faces today, one will get to hear the same answer in unison—China. But Prime Minister Fumio Kishida couldn’t care less. He has brazenly kept himself busy wooing China for reasons best known to him and him only.
For instance, Japan recently unveiled plans to welcome foreign tourists to the country. Japan’s response has been slow when it comes to opening borders for foreign travellers, reflecting the government’s cautious approach to the Covid pandemic. But one might very well stop taking Japan’s covid protocols seriously after looking at the list of nations whose citizens are allowed to travel freely to Japan.
Japan embraces Covid-infected China
Ironically, the list prominently features China. Unvaccinated Chinese travellers would be given free entry into Japan, even a Covid test isn’t to be bothered about. Nikkei Asia reported that China, despite its faltering response to the ravaging wave of the Wuhan virus, has been placed on the “Blue List”.
The blue list means that travellers, even unvaccinated, don’t need to take a covid test or quarantine themselves, before roaming freely on Japan’s streets. In simple words, Kishida had made a hash of his government’s Covid policies put in place to check the spread of the Chinese virus, in his bid to woo China.
This comes as countries like India continues to be featured on the ‘yellow list’. For 99 “yellow” countries, people will be exempted from testing and quarantine only if they are triple vaccinated. Tourists from mainland China accounted for about 26% of all foreign tourists visiting Japan and 34% of spending in 2019, making them a lucrative asset for the Japanese government.
However, in his attempts to shore up Japan’s tourism industry and entice the Chinese travellers, Kishida is leading his nation towards a nationwide health emergency.
Pro-China voices emerge in Kishida’s Japan
It’s due to Kishida’s China-friendly policies that pro-China voices, once considered taboo in the former PM Shinzo Abe’s Japan, have started to find their place in the country. ‘Peace’ with China is an impossibility; unless a nation is willing to compromise its national security and sovereignty. However, Kishida and his aides remain optimistic in this regard.
According to Gov. Denny Tamaki of Okinawa prefecture, Japan should focus more on peaceful diplomacy with China instead of military deterrence as tensions rise around Taiwan. Tamaki last month had said, “We are strongly alarmed…Any escalation of problems over the Taiwan Strait and the contingency of Okinawa being a target of the attack must never happen or be allowed to happen.”
Kishida’s tacit approval to pro-China posture
For so long, Japan has been wary of the China threat. It has taken suitable measures, like reinforcing its southern defences in fear of any conflict across the Taiwan Strait spilling over into its territory. Yet, Japanese leaders are putting out statements that are explicitly pro-China in nature. What is more troubling is that the Japanese Prime Minister agrees with such statements and promises to work in that direction.
This brings us to the conclusion that Kishida is a Chinese pug. He singlehandedly has quashed the bright prospective of Japan while diverting his nation away from Shinzo Abe’s revolutionary policies.