Japan and the US would have to defend Taiwan together in the event of a major problem, Kyodo News reported Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso as saying, marking some of the highest-level remarks from Tokyo on the sensitive subject.
In comments at a political fundraising party in Tokyo on Monday, Aso said an invasion of Taiwan by China could be seen as an existential threat, allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, Kyodo reported.
Japan has sought to avoid alienating China, its biggest trading partner, while maintaining its alliance with the US amid tensions between the world’s two largest economies over topics ranging from the origins of COVID-19 to human rights.
Aso told reporters yesterday that the most desirable outcome was for the parties involved to reach a peaceful solution through direct talks.
“We have to think about various situations, such as not being able to pass through the Taiwan Strait,” Aso said. “It’s difficult to say overall which would be an existential threat.”
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that he did not know the details of Aso’s comments on defending Taiwan and declined to comment on them.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it is glad that the international community is concerned with stability in the Taiwan Strait, adding that Taiwan would continue to work with like-minded nations to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait.
China, on the other hand, said Aso’s comments were “extremely wrong and dangerous.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) told a regular news conference in Beijing that “we will never allow any country in any way to interfere in the Taiwan question, and nobody should underestimate the Chinese people’s strong determination, will and ability to safeguard national sovereignty.”
Tensions have grown around Taiwan in the past few months, with China sending 28 military planes close to the nation last month, the largest exercise this year.
Japanese Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama said in a presentation to a Washington think tank last month that China presented a growing threat and it was necessary to protect Taiwan as a “democratic country.”
Chinese officials urged Japan to disavow Nakayama’s remarks, which they described as sinister, irresponsible and dangerous.
Kato said the comments represented a personal view.
While Japan’s pacifist constitution limits the scope of its armed forces, a 2015 reinterpretation of the document allows it to send troops to overseas conflicts in some circumstances.
Additional reporting by CNA
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
WRONG TIMING: The delegation’s trip has not only disappointed Taiwanese, but could send a wrong message to the global community, Tsai Ing-wen said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia (夏立言) yesterday left with a delegation for a trip to China, drawing fire for visiting at a time when Beijing has been conducting intensive military drills to pressure Taiwan. Before boarding, he told reporters that the delegation would be visiting Taiwanese communities and students in China, and possibly meet with Chinese officials. The Mainland Affairs Council on Tuesday night said that it was not the right time for political party members to visit China, as Beijing has been conducting military exercises since Thursday last week. President Tsai Ing- wen (蔡英文), chairperson of the Democratic
‘MILITARY PLAYBOOK’: It would have taken far longer for the PLA to put together the drills had they actually been in response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Joseph Wu said China is using military drills to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, and its anger over US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit is just an excuse, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday. Speaking in English at a news conference in Taipei, Wu accused China of “gross violations of international law.” “China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” he said. “It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyberattacks, disinformation and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan.” He said the Chinese