skip to main content

Japan's deputy PM eyes possibility of Tokyo joining US in defending Taiwan

Japan's deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, has said that his country could exercise its right to ‘collective self-defence' in case of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, according to local media reports.

Aso, who is also finance minister, was quoted by Kyodo News as saying that if a “major problem” were to take place in Taiwan, Tokyo could interpret this as a “situation threatening Japan's survival”, which, in turn, would require the Japanese government to exercise the right to ‘collective self-defence' under the country's security laws.

Under such circumstances “Japan and the US must defend Taiwan together”, said Aso in a speech on 5 July at a political fundraising event held in Tokyo for ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers from Okinawa.

If Taiwan were to fall, “Okinawa would be next”, he was quoted by the news agency as saying, adding, “We must think about this seriously, and prepare well for the defence of Japan.”

The Jiji Press news agency also quoted Aso, who sits on Japan's National Security Council, as saying that the situation around Taiwan is becoming extremely intense. He also gave an example of potential Chinese actions against the island, saying that, instead of an outright military attack against Taiwan, Beijing could instigate riots there and then deploy troops to suppress them.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...