Asia
Op-Ed

Parsing Japan’s Support for Taiwan

The Japan-Taiwan renaissance seen in 2021 may not last, but one element will certainly stay: the public acknowledgment that Taiwan and Japan’s security are linked.

Originally published in the Diplomat

In the last week of August, four lawmakers from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held virtual talks to discuss shared security concerns, including Chinese activities in the East China Sea. The unprecedented talks between Japan’s and Taiwan’s ruling parties floated the possibility of joint coast guard drills and may serve as a format for closer communication between the leaders of the two governments, despite protests from Beijing.

The talks are the latest development signaling that Japan-Taiwan relations – though still unofficial – are shifting quickly in 2021. There are plenty of other examples: a Japan-Taiwan-U.S. trilateral meeting in July, Japan’s defense white paper discussion of Taiwan, and several statements in support of Taiwan by Japanese political leaders, Japan’s public support for Taiwan reflects a growing consensus in Tokyo that Taiwan’s security has a direct impact on Japan and that Japan should consider Taiwan in its regional security calculus. Japan, as a regional power, can use its domestic discourse on its Taiwan policy to strengthen deterrence and emphasize the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait.

This article was originally published by The Diplomat on September 10, 2021. Read the full article.

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