Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > 2021 defense white paper intends to use Taiwan issue to enhance Japan-US military cooperation
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2021 July 14 - 27 [POLITICS]

2021 defense white paper intends to use Taiwan issue to enhance Japan-US military cooperation

July 14, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo on July 13 at a Cabinet meeting reported on the ministry’s annual white paper, “Defense of Japan 2021”. Kishi wrote in the preface to the white paper that China “has continued its unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas”. He pointed out the need to strengthen Japan’s own security capabilities. In addition, the minister referred to the Japan-U.S. alliance and stated, “we will strive to further strengthen its deterrence and response capabilities in order to further solidify the unshakable bond of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.” China’s hegemonic acts are unacceptable. However, as ways to respond to such acts, further enhancement of Self-Defense Forces’ capabilities and the Japan-U.S. military alliance will only bring about a dangerous vicious cycle in which military actions invite military responses.

The biggest feature in this year’s white paper is a section dealing with the U.S.-China relations. The new section gives a detailed description of the Chinese and U.S. military trends in the Indo-Pacific region. In the new section, the paper specifically states that China actively conducts military operations in areas near Taiwan, and points out that “military tensions between China and Taiwan will likely rise”. At the same time, stating that the U.S. Biden administration demonstrated a clear stance of supporting Taiwan militarily, the white paper stresses that there is a possibility that the U.S.-China rivalry will become more visible.

In this regard, it is controversial that the annual defense review for the first time states that the stabilization of the situation around Taiwan is important not only for Japan’s security but also for the stability of the international community.

Regarding responding to an emergency in the Taiwan Strait, among the Suga government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, some have mentioned military cooperation with the U.S. and some have called for putting this into practice.

Vice Prime Minister Aso Taro on June 5 indicated that if a military conflict occurs in the Taiwan Strait, it should be recognized as a situation posing a threat to Japan’s survival defined by the national security law and thus Japan will possibly exercise its collective self-defense right. In the same month, an LDP project team on Taiwan policy released a proposal in which it regards a Taiwan crisis as a Japan crisis and demands an early launch of discussions on a contingency plan.

China’s move to increase military pressure on and intimidation of Taiwan should be criticized harshly. However, it is unacceptable for Japan and the U.S. to take the path toward military involvement in dealing with the Taiwan issue. The Taiwan issue should be resolved through peaceful dialogue.

What is most important now is to criticize China’s hegemonism in a calm manner based on international law and apply diplomatic pressure on China, not to intensify military tensions and enhance military response capabilities.

Past related article:
> Suga and Biden affirm strengthening of bilateral alliance to counter China and incorporate 'Taiwan' into joint statement for 1st time in 52 years [April 18, 2021]

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved