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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 8 - 14  > Okinawa may become target for nuclear attack in Taiwan emergency: US congressional advisory panel
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2021 December 8 - 14 [US FORCES]

Okinawa may become target for nuclear attack in Taiwan emergency: US congressional advisory panel

December 9, 2021

A U.S. congressional advisory panel on China policy in its annual report, which was released last month, pointed out that it is highly likely that U.S. bases in Okinawa and Guam, along with U.S. aircraft carriers, will become targets for attack by China, if the U.S. makes a move of military intervention in a Taiwan emergency.

This was revealed by Japanese Communist Party member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Toguchi Osamu on December 8 at an assembly meeting.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s annual report points out that China would adopt a strategy involving the limited use of nuclear weapons as a leverage to deter U.S. intervention in cross-strait tensions between Beijing and Taipei. The report points to a possibility that this strategy would “destroy assets critical to U.S. military operations, such as U.S. aircraft carriers or the bases on Guam and Okinawa” with the limited use of low-yield, more precise nuclear weapons.

The report recommends Congress to convince “U.S. allies and partners to pressure China diplomatically to enter into arms control talks” and also to explore their willingness to host U.S. intermediate-range forces and other U.S. military assets.

JCP Toguchi noted that the U.S. government reserves the option to launch a nuclear first strike. He said, “If U.S. missiles are deployed in Okinawa, a frightful calamity could befall Okinawan people as experienced during the war 76 years ago when Okinawa was turned into a fierce battlefield.”

The JCP lawmaker proposed that the governor send the Japanese, U.S., and Chinese governments a letter declaring Okinawa’s position to refuse to get involved in a nuclear war.

Governor Tamaki Denny in his reply said that it is vital for the prefecture to avoid becoming a military target in a Taiwan emergency with the large U.S. military presence in Okinawa. He then expressed his intent to urge the national government to make efforts to reduce tensions and build a relationship of mutual understanding and trust in the region.

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