Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi interviewed by Bloomberg on Thursday (24) said that the situation in the Taiwan Strait is tense and has a direct impact on Japan’s security. He also believes that Taiwan’s current defense forces, in the face of increasingly powerful Chinese military forces, compared to the disparity, the situation in the Taiwan Strait to China, to the detriment of Japan.
China sent 28 PLA military planes into Taiwan airspace last Tuesday (15). This is the first time a Japanese official has commented on Taiwan’s national security relations with Japan since the PLA planes massively disturbed Taiwan. During the visit, Nobuo Kishi revealed that Japan is closely monitoring cross-strait relations in the Taiwan Strait and the PLA’s frequent military activities. He also said that China’s military power is growing and the situation in the Taiwan Strait is tilted heavily toward mainland China, a gap that stems from China’s “constant, rapid and opaque increase in military spending, and the fact that China is also developing critical, disruptive technologies.
Bloomberg reports that Taiwan’s role is crucial to Japan, which is naturally resource-poor and relies on the Luzon Strait to transport energy and support its economic development. In April, Nobuo Kishi visited Japan’s closest island to Taiwan, Yonaguni. Fuji News reported that Nobuo Kishi later attended a seminar of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and said that Japan needs to be prepared for the “deficit” of Taiwan. In response to Kishi’s remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian then criticized Kishi’s remarks as “reckless and irresponsible” at a regular press conference on April 23.
The Bloomberg report also said that Taiwan is becoming increasingly important to the United States and its allies, and that many countries have expressed concern about China’s bullying of Taiwan, whose semiconductor industry is a key global supply chain and is of considerable importance to the world. AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene said in a speech in Taipei on Thursday that the United States no longer sees Taiwan as a problem in the Taiwan Strait, but as “an opportunity to promote freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region. He argued that everything he did when he took office had to do with cross-strait issues and how Taiwan entered the U.S.-China relationship, but now the work has shifted to “deepening the relationship” and working together to help other countries develop their economies and democratic institutions.