Japan’s top official: a shootout in the Taiwan Strait may be unavoidable

On 28 October, the Japanese Minister of Defence Nobuo Kishi warned on a television programme that China’s military exercises had caused the situation in the Taiwan Strait to heat up sharply, and that “occasional conflicts” might be unavoidable, and that the Japanese Government “must give sufficient attention” to whether Japan should take military action in support of Taiwan, and he said that although Japan’s response was case-by-case, “it is now necessary to study specific countermeasures”.

Nobuo Kishi’s statement, one is that the Japanese government is beginning to realize the seriousness of the situation in the Taiwan Strait, the second is the recent frequent military actions of the United States and Japan, the two countries held joint military exercises in the South China Sea, the U.S. military officials also threatened to send troops to help Japan defend the Diaoyu Islands, Japan believes that they have in the Sino-American relations, “chestnut in the fire” opportunity. Since taking over as defense minister more than a month, Kishi Nobuo’s tough stance toward China is extremely obvious, just a few days ago, he also criticized China’s attempts to “unilaterally change the status quo with the backdrop of power,” which is consistent with Prime Minister Kan Yoshihide’s defense policy of strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and multilateral military cooperation, former Prime Minister Abe also recently Japan’s biggest theme is “how to deal with the rise of China,” he said.

However, unlike in the Abe period, with the evolution of the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the U.S.-China relationship, the new Kan administration believes that due to the confrontation between the U.S. and China, China is under great pressure and “very much wants to make good relations with Japan,” so Japan has been unable to resist the “wooing.” On the one hand, Kan emphasized the importance of relations with neighboring countries during his visits to Vietnam and Indonesia, and made it clear that Japan would not participate in the establishment of an “Indo-Pacific version of NATO. On the other hand, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister are taking a tough stance and making frequent moves, while the “smiling face” looks. This is very similar to the hard-line policy towards China of the Modi government of India, which is aggressive militarily, diplomatically “shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries”, and not “tearing the face” of China.

Kishi Nobuo said that “we must study the specific measures”, is just in response to the Taiwan Sea region in the event of an unexpected conflict, how to cooperate with the U.S. military operations in Japan. However, Japan may have forgotten the sensitivity and importance of the Taiwan issue, once the U.S. Navy and Air Force use the base in Japan, military interference in China’s internal affairs, the U.S. military base in Japan will certainly become a key target of the PLA rocket strike. The Japanese media had reported on 27 July that China had 2,000 missiles with a range that could cover the entire territory of Japan, which in fact would never be used up if Japan became involved in a conflict in the Taiwan Strait.