During Monday’s fundraising event, Japan’s deputy prime minister Taro Aso said the following:
“If a major incident happened [in Taiwan], it would not be strange at all if it touches on a situation threatening survival. If that is the case, Japan and the US must defend Taiwan together.”Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
He warned that upon China’s invasion of Taiwan, Japan may interpret the act as a “threat to Japan’s survival” and would deploy the island nation’s Self-Defense Forces to exercise its rights to collective self-defence.
Aso further described the Taiwan situation as becoming “extremely intense” after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reiterated his determination to unification with the self-ruled island during his speech at the CCP’s centennial ceremony on 1 July.
“Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment.”Xi Jinping, Chinese President
His words, contrasting sharply with his pro-China counterpart Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), came in as a surprise, albeit soon backtracked and said that all disputes should be resolved through diplomacy.
It has been merely a week after deputy defence minister Yasuhide Nakayama infuriated Beijing by questioning the One-China policy with his description of Taiwan as a “democratic country”. He also voiced for the protection of the island.
Japan-Taiwan relations have reached a historical height amidst increased military and vocal intimidation from the Chinese mainland. Japan severed its diplomatic ties with the island in favour of the People’s Republic in September 1972 during Kakuei Tanaka’s term of office.