BREAKING WORLD WAR III NEWS: WHY JAPAN IS GETTING READY FOR A POSSIBLE WAR WITH CHINA

 

BREAKING WORLD WAR III NEWS: WHY JAPAN IS GETTING READY FOR A POSSIBLE WAR WITH CHINA

The threat of Chinese aggression is producing a quiet revolution in Tokyo’s statecraft — and officials are pushing the nation to get ready for a fight.

If China were to attack Taiwan, it wouldn’t just have to face a hostile superpower. It would also likely have to confront its longstanding regional rival, Japan. For centuries, Japan and China have vied for hegemony in East Asia; at times, they have threatened each other’s survival. Today, as I found from three days of meetings with Japanese officials and analysts in Tokyo, the threat of Chinese aggression is producing a quiet revolution in Japanese statecraft — and pushing the nation to get ready for a fight.

For the US, China is a dangerous but distant challenge. For Japan, China is the existential danger next door. Years before American leaders were proclaiming the return of great-power rivalry, Japanese officials were warning that Beijing was up to no good. As China’s capabilities become more formidable and its conduct in the Taiwan Strait more menacing, Tokyo’s concerns grew more acute.

The weather may have been beautiful when I visited the capital, but there is very much a sense that storms are on the horizon. “Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow,” warned Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in June. The same month, some 90% of the Japanese public believed the country should prepare for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. That was before Chinese leader Xi Jinping ratcheted tensions by firing ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

In Tokyo, as in Washington, opinions differ regarding when the risk of war will be greatest, and even whether Xi would hazard everything in a high-stakes military gamble. Some officials told me that Xi’s recent personnel reforms — which included placing a veteran of China’s last foreign conflict, against Vietnam in 1979, and a former commander of Chinese military forces opposite Taiwan in the two top spots on the Central Military Commission — amount to a creation of a “war council.” Others counter that the People’s Liberation Army will lack key capabilities necessary to invade Taiwan, such as sufficient amphibious landing craft, for years to come.

But there is little debate the country must brace for trouble, because China taking Taiwan by force would be disastrous for Japan.

If Taiwan fell, the islands at the far southwestern end of the Japanese archipelago might become indefensible. China could constrict Japan’s vital trade routes, increase the pressure around the disputed Senkaku Islands, and otherwise coerce its historic rival.This is why the Tokyo government has stated — as strongly as it can, given Japan’s post-1945 aversion to the use of force — that it would not stand by while Taiwan was subjugated. Already a serious regional military power, Japan is moving rapidly to strengthen its capabilities for deterrence and defense.

Source: Bloomberg, Hal Brands

To read more, click here: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/features/2022-11-06/why-japan-is-gearing-up-for-possible-war-with-china-over-taiwan