Defense white paper brings up Taiwan situation for 1st time

The government white paper on Japan’s defense will stipulate for the first time the importance of stability in the Taiwan situation, a response to China’s growing military pressure in the region around the island, according to a draft revealed on Sunday

The 2021 Defense of Japan, which is expected to be released at a Cabinet meeting in July, will state, “The stability of the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for the security of our country and the stability of the international community.”

The draft points out that the military balance between China and Taiwan is “shifting in a direction advantageous to China, with the difference tending to increase year by year.” On a special page on U.S.-China relations, it notes, “Competition between the United States and China will become more apparent, with competition in the technology sector in particular likely to intensify further.”

On China’s tendencies, the draft criticizes repeated intrusions by Chinese patrol boats into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture as a “violation of international law,” and strongly states that China’s enforcement of a law stipulating the use of weapons by the Chinese Coast Guard is “problematic in terms of its inconsistency with international law.”

The draft also states that “it has been pointed out [that China] has been trying to acquire advanced technology from other countries.”

In regard to North Korea, the draft follows on from the 2020 white paper by taking the position that the country “poses grave and imminent threats to Japan’s security.” It also says North Korea has developed low-altitude ballistic missiles that take irregular trajectories, and is therefore “trying to breach [Japan-U.S.] missile defense networks” by making early detection harder.