According to an article in Forbes magazine, Japan’s willingness to join the U.S. military and participate in the defense of Taiwan in the shadow of China’s advance on Taiwan will clearly shape the situation and greatly increase the resistance to China’s actions against Taiwan.
The Financial Times recently reported that Japan had asked the U.S. to share operational plans for Taiwan, but the U.S. Defense Department did not agree because the Pentagon wanted to expand the joint military operations plan between the two countries in stages. A former U.S. official said the ultimate goal is for the U.S. and Japan to develop an integrated operational plan for Taiwan.
The Forbes article writes that the geography of the Western Pacific essentially dictates Japan’s role in a joint defense of Taiwan, and what the Financial Times report really reveals is not the prospect of a joint U.S.-Japan war plan, but the fact that Japan clearly does not rule out a battle in case China invades Taiwan.
What is clear is that the United States needs Japan’s support to be able to stop China’s attempts to invade Taiwan. Large numbers of U.S. troops are stationed in the Western Pacific, particularly at Japanese air bases.
Ideally, the Japanese government would not only allow the U.S. side to launch operations from U.S. bases on Japanese territory in an anti-invasion operation, but would also join the operation itself.
From the point of view of official opinion, Japan is more and more likely to do so, as Japanese Vice Defense Minister Yasuhide Nakayama said a few days ago that “Japan and Taiwan are one family” and that the integrity of Taiwan is “obviously important for the security of Okinawa”.
The article said that if Japan joined the U.S. military to fight for Taiwan, it would greatly enhance the intervention force. The U.S. Pacific Fleet itself has about 200 warships, smaller than China’s 360 front-line warships. If the Japanese fleet is added, the two camps would be nearly matched in numbers.
The article points out that the Japanese warships are mostly heavily armed, containing 36 modern destroyers and frigates, many equipped with the SHIELD combat system, plus 22 of the world’s largest diesel-electric attack submarines.
In addition, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is converting two helicopter carriers to carry F-35B vertical takeoff and landing stowaway fighters.
China’s navy and air force are exploring ways to approach Taiwan indirectly in order to bypass the most solid beach defenses. It is not unreasonable for China to send more and more formations of warplanes, patrol planes, and bombers to disturb Taiwan as far as the Philippine Sea.
At the same time, China has stepped up the building of its warships, in part to provide air cover for warships operating in Taiwan’s eastern waters. China has two ships in service and is building a third.
There are two ways for Chinese forces to break into the Philippine Sea. One is to fly or sail through the Bus Strait southeast of Taiwan, south of Taiwan; the second is to take the Miyako Strait northeast of Taiwan, which is the path taken by the Chinese Liaoning ship in April of this year.
If Japan joins the fight for Taiwan, it is feared that the Miyako Strait will become one of the most dangerous waterways in the world.
The article points out that China’s calculations could become more complicated once Japan makes clear its willingness to go to war for Taiwan, perhaps to the extent that the risk of invading Taiwan is considered unacceptably high.
This is the real significance of Japan’s willingness at this moment to at least discuss active participation in the defense of Taiwan, as Yasuhide Nakayama put it: “We must show scared resistance to China. “
Also according to French newspaper Libération, just as the Chinese government is vociferously celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party on July 1, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu Chiu-sup gave an exclusive interview to the newspaper detailing Beijing’s provocative actions to break the stability of Taiwan, noting that the situation in Hong Kong is a cause for concern after a year of Beijing’s implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, while condemning China’s attempts to create chaos in Taiwan and stressing that Taiwan will defend democracy and that The future of Taiwan will be decided by the people of Taiwan.