Japan and the United States to strengthen special military exercises to join forces in response to the Taiwan Strait crisis? Pentagon: joint exercises do not target any specific threat

A Defense Department spokesman said the United States regularly holds joint exercises with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen joint warfare capabilities, and that these exercises do not target any potential adversary or any specific threat.

Spokesman John Kirby made the remarks Tuesday (July 6, 2021) in response to a question about whether the U.S. and Japan are stepping up special military exercises in a joint response to a possible forceful attack on Taiwan by China.

He added that U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed, including a commitment to help Taiwan defend itself.

The Financial Times reported last week, citing six unnamed sources, that the U.S. and Japanese militaries began serious planning for a possible conflict in the Taiwan Strait during the final year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and conducted top-secret sandbox exercises.

Japanese media reported that Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said Monday that Japan would join forces with the United States in the event of a crisis in Taiwan. The next day he added that Japan is closely watching the situation in the Taiwan Strait, while saying that any contingency in the Taiwan Strait should be resolved through dialogue.

The description by Taro Aso is the latest indication that Japanese government officials are increasingly concerned about the situation in the Taiwan Strait and are hinting at possible Japanese military involvement in the Taiwan Strait.

In recent months, the Chinese Communist regime has dramatically increased its military pressure on Taiwan, and its rhetoric of “unifying Taiwan” by force has increased rapidly. Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping warned the United States and other Western countries at the party’s centennial conference last week that “no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.