TOKYO – Japanese and American troops have launched a draft plan for Taiwan’s emergency cooperation, Japanese media reported in Kyodo on Thursday (Dec 23), citing undisclosed Japanese government sources, amid growing tensions between the island. and China.
China says Taiwan is a democracy as its “holy place” and over the past two years has added military and diplomatic pressure to air its grievances, fueling Taipei’s anger and deep-seated concern in Washington.
The Taiwanese government says it wants peace, but will protect itself if needed.
Under the plan, the US Marine Corps will set up temporary bases on the Nansei archipelago from Kyushu, one of Japan’s four main islands, to Taiwan, at the beginning of the Taiwan emergency, and will send troops, Kyodo said. .
The Japanese military will provide operational assistance in areas such as ammunition and fuel tanks, it said.
Japan, the former colonel of Taiwan, and the United States are likely to reach an agreement to formulate a formal “2 + 2” meeting of foreign ministers and defense ministers early next year, the news agency said.
In October, the Japanese government signed a strong position on China’s aggressive stance toward the ruling Taiwan, promising to consider options and prepare for “diverse situations” while securing closer ties with the US.
Earlier this month, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan and the United States would not be able to resist China’s attack on Taiwan.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have long said that given the tens of thousands of US troops in Japan and its proximity to Taiwan, Japan is likely to play a key role in any emergency in Taiwan.
A Pentagon spokesman said that as US President Joe Biden and his Japanese counterparts stated in a joint statement in March, the two countries shared a commitment to peace and stability in Taiwan Strait.
“We are committed to improving the strength and co-operation between the US and Japanese forces and deepening co-operation during peacekeeping and various regional conditions,” the Pentagon said.
Japan has hosted major US military bases, including an island south of Okinawa, a short flight from Taiwan, which would be crucial to any US support during the Chinese invasion.
The United States, like many other countries in the world, sees China over Taiwan, in line with Beijing’s “one China” policy. But Washington is a major arms supplier and partner to the island and is legally obliged to help protect itself.