Japanese Troops Won’t Get Involved If Mainland China Lands in Taiwan — PM Suga

"A lot of fuss has been made over the mention of Taiwan in the US-Japan joint statement and that Suga really needed to get out in front of that"

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has emphasised that despite a reference to Taiwan in a joint statement released after his recent meeting with US President Joe Biden, there is no possibility of Japanese forces being committed to any military contingency surrounding Taiwan.

In response to a question from an opposition politician in the Diet on Tuesday about the details of Japan’s commitment to Taiwan, Suga replied that the statement “does not presuppose military involvement at all”.

Analysts say Japan’s constitution would block the military from taking part in combat in the event China attempted to take Taiwan by force, although Japan could provide a range of logistical and rear-echelon support to the United States.

The wording of the statement – the first document signed by the Japanese and US leaders to refer to Taiwan since diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Beijing were normalised in 1972 – had been closely scrutinised.

Biden and Suga called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, the first reference to Taiwan – which Beijing claims as its territory – in a joint statement in more than 50 years. They also said they would counter China’s “intimidation” in the Asia-Pacific region.

China accused Japan and the US of sowing division, and said the two countries were inciting “group confrontation”. On the weekend, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees the Taiwan Strait, deployed dozens of H-6K strategic bombers in a nine-hour live-fire drill, according to state television.

Analysts said Suga’s latest comments to the Diet was Tokyo’s way of drawing a line under suggestions that the government could use a different interpretation of the constitution to give it freer reign to dispatch the military.

Ben Ascione, an assistant professor of international relations at Tokyo’s Waseda University, said Suga was in a difficult position over Taiwan.

“If he were to say nothing at all, then that could have had a negative effect on the Japan-US security alliance, but at the same time, Suga needed to make it clear to his domestic audience that Japan would not go to war over Taiwan,” he said.

Ascione said there were “many different scenarios” that could emerge surrounding Taiwan in the coming months and years, but the extent of Japanese involvement during an armed clash over the island was very likely to be limited to rear-area support and maintaining the present status quo under the constitution.

“I think a lot of fuss has been made over the mention of Taiwan in the US-Japan joint statement and that Suga really needed to get out in front of that,” he said, pointing out that while Biden might have been hoping for a stronger expression of support from the Japanese leader in their first face-to-face meeting, Tokyo had insisted on “boilerplate language” that still emphasised peace and stability.

“I do not think we can expect Japan to do more than making incremental change for now,” Ascione said.

Yuko Ito, a professor of international relations at Asia University, agreed that Suga’s hands were presently tied by Japan’s war-renouncing constitution, which only permits the military to be deployed to defend the nation and its allies. But she added that there was a growing sense of concern in some quarters that Tokyo was being “too naive”.

“Taking part in military activities involving Taiwan would not be permitted under the constitution, but there are clearly deepening tensions in the region and it would already be too late if we only started a discussion on revising the constitution after China has attacked Taiwan,” Ito said.

“The majority of Japanese people are still against the use of the nation’s military power, so the debate on the constitution cannot take place,” she said.

“But they also do not realise … that the Japanese military are carrying out a lot of joint exercises with the US in areas very close to Taiwan as a message to China.

“If we have no discussions on changing or reinterpreting the constitution now and that debate can only take place after an invasion, then it is too late,” she said.

Source: South China Morning Post

  1. Ying Jun says

    Chinese people will die to defend their territories. I don’t think Yanks and Japs will die to defend their big mouths. Mind your own business and stay out of China’s internal affairs.

  2. Eddy says

    Add the FACT that the Chinese are still smarting from the Japanese invasion and butchery they unleashed against them, I’d say there are more than a handfull of Chinese just itching to be given the opportunity for a little justice leveling.

  3. Randy-n-Rowdy says

    I don’t blame Japan. America recognized China as the legitimate “China” in 1971. That resulted in a vote to allow China to move from the General Assembly to the Security Council and for Taiwan to exit. Taiwan was a Security Council member since 1945 when the UN formed. America gave China the veto power during the Cultural revolution (1966-1976) and when Mao was in power.

    Close to 50 to 60 million were killed or died in that revolution and DC did not care. In fact by November 1971 the Bangladesh war broke out and Nixon sent in the 7th fleet to protect Pakistan. Pakistan was the intermediary between Mao and Nixon for his upcoming visit in 72.

    The US sent the Ping Pong delegation in July 71. The US also allowed China to annex Tibet in the 50’s making it a geopolitical power controlling the “water tower” of Asia and sharing a 1500 mile border with India and Pakistan.

    Due to China’s SC membership & annexation of Tibet India detonated a nuke in 74, annexed Sikkim in 76 and launched a full scale proxy war in neighboring Sri Lanka that lasted 28 years. By 98 Pakistan detonated nukes & its nuke father Dr. khan sold those nuke secrets to Iran, Libya, N Korea, Syria. So why would Japan want to be involved?

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