The Yomiuri International Forum 2021 (co-sponsored by the Yomiuri International Economic Society [YIES] and the Yomiuri Shimbun) was held in Tokyo on Sept. 9 on the theme of “How Japan should prepare given the rising tensions in East Asia.” Liberal Democratic Party Upper House member and LDP Foreign Affairs Division Director Sato Masahisa, former Ambassador to the United States Sugiyama Shinsuke, and Kanda University of International Studies professor Korogi Ichiro exchanged views on China’s military buildup and the situation in Taiwan.
“A Taiwan contingency is almost the same as a Japan contingency,” said Sato. “Japan and the United States should conduct real-world, working-level simulations and create new guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation that take into consideration a Taiwan contingency.” He also said that discussions are needed on the deployment of ground-launched intermediate-range missiles in Japan to counter China’s military strength.
Sugiyama pointed out that the United States has never had such a [strong] rival as China. The U.S. is seeking to divide up roles with Japan “in relation to China,” he said. “Now Japan can clearly indicate what it can and can’t do.”
Korogi offered his analysis of the Chinese Communist Party, saying it “believes in strength and thinks military power is vital.” “If China surpasses the United States in military capability and the power relationship (between the U.S. and China) changes, I think that Taiwan will be easily within China’s reach,” he added.