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Defense white paper mentions stability of Taiwan Strait for first time

  • July 13, 2021
  • , All TV networks
  • JMH Translation

All networks reported at noon that this year’s white paper on the defense of Japan was released today, saying that the document states for the first time that the stability of the Taiwan Strait is “important for the security of Japan and the stability of the international community.” The networks also highlighted the fact that the white paper includes a new section focusing on U.S.-China relations, pointing out that “competition between the United States and China is becoming more prominent across the political, economic, and military realms, with both countries making moves to keep each other in check.” It also reportedly points out that changes in the military power balance between the United States and China could affect the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the white paper notes that while China has further intensified its military activities around Taiwan, the Biden administration has demonstrated a clear stance of supporting Taiwan militarily. It states that “stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for Japan’s security and the stability of the international community” and stresses the need to pay close attention to the situation with a sense of urgency.


NHK also said the white paper includes another new section focused on the impact of climate change on security, pointing out that a shortage of water and food due to climate change could lead to social and political tensions or conflicts. The white paper also reportedly mentions that there is a growing trend around the world of viewing climate change as a security issue and that a new task force on climate change will be charged with analyzing the impact of climate change on Japan’s security.


An NHK reporter said the white paper expressed strong concern about the increasing conflict between the United States and China given that the deterioration in the situation surrounding Taiwan would clearly have a serious impact on Japan’s security. He said the balance of power in the region is clearly changing with the rise of China’s military power, noting that a U.S. military commander said in March that China might invade Taiwan within the next six years. The reporter pointed out that since some members of the Japanese government feel that a contingency in the Taiwan Strait could be seen as an instance in which Japan could exercise its right to collective self-defense, there is a growing need for Japan to thoroughly examine what it would be able to do in the event of a contingency where swift and accurate decisions are required.


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