Japan Calls for ‘Sense of Crisis’ Over Sino-Taiwan Tension

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TOKYO — Japan unusually frank on Tuesday warned that Beijing and Washington’s military stance against Taiwan poses a threat to its security.

“Stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for the security of Japan and the stability of the international community,” the Japanese Ministry of Defense said in its annual report. “We need to pay attention to the situation more than ever with a sense of crisis,” he said.

The comments suggest that while Japan is still wary of getting caught up in the rivalry between the US and China, it can approach Washington step by step. called to face Beijing’s increasing military aggression in the region. For a long time, Japan avoided engaging in such disputes as it sought to balance its interests between its most important ally, the United States, and its critical trading partner, China.

Concerns in Japan grew as Washington and Beijing increased both their rhetoric and military presence around Taiwan, the democratic, self-governing island China claims to be their territory. China over the past year military aircraft flying repeatedly It entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, and the United States in response Ships passed through the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan is close to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

In its white paper, the Japanese Ministry of Defense warned that China’s rapid expansion of its military threatens to upset the balance of power between Washington and Beijing and undermine peace in the region.

Specifically, he noted that “the overall military balance between China and Taiwan is in China’s favour, and the gap is widening from year to year.”

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denounced Japan for comments that he described as “highly false and irresponsible”.

“China will never allow any country to interfere in Taiwan in any way,” he said at a regular press conference on Tuesday. “There is nothing more conducive to regional peace and stability than the complete reunification of China.”

US officials in recent months expressing concerns openly Japanese officials have begun to address the issue regarding China’s growing aggression towards Taiwan.

On a trip to Washington in April, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga joined President Biden to make the highly unusual, yet anodyne, “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”. Still, the leaders of the United States and Japan were talking openly about Taiwan for the first time since 1969.

In a speech reported by Japanese news media this month, Japan’s deputy prime minister and finance minister Taro Aso said his country should cooperate with Washington to defend Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Affairs Spokesman, Mr. Zhao, denounced Mr. Aso’s remarks as “extremely wrong and dangerous” and said – referring to Japan’s colonization of the island – that “some politicians have been eyeing Taiwan to this day”.

Many commentators interpreted the blunder-prone Mr. Aso’s comments as a slip of the tongue. But Japan is under increasing political pressure both at home and abroad to take a tougher stance against China.

Japanese politicians responded by enforcing local laws that could be used to reduce China’s influence in the country’s economy. They also made symbolic gestures such as donating coronavirus vaccines A move to Taiwan that angers Beijing.

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