Japan’s Position On Defending Taiwan Has Taken A Remarkable Shift

R&I – FS

Japan is undergoing a remarkable shift in its stance on one of the most contentious issues in Asia: Taiwan.

Mainland China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing has vowed to unify with the self-governing island — by force, if necessary. The Biden administration is counting on help from its allies, especially Japan, to deter such a move.

For decades, Japan considered the Taiwan issue too politically sensitive to speak out publicly. Japan’s military is focused on defense of its own territory and has no expeditionary forces to fight overseas.

But in recent weeks, top Japanese officials have said that if mainland China attacks the island, Japan should join the U.S. in defending it.

“We have to protect Taiwan, as a democratic country,” Japan’s deputy defense minister, Yasuhide Nakayama, said in a conference in June.

Japan’s shift in thinking comes as China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan, including sending fighter jets and warships around the island. But the bolder talk could also be driven further moves by China.


Article URL : https://www.npr.org/2021/07/26/1020866539/japans-position-on-defending-taiwan-has-taken-a-remarkable-shift