Japan would ‘help Taiwan if China attacks’, warns the country’s defense minister as tensions continue to rise between Beijing and the island nation it claims as its own.
- Historically, Japan has refused to clarify how it would respond to a Chinese attack.
- The Ukraine war sparked fears in Tokyo about the possibility of a conflict between China and Taiwan
A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would likely prompt Japan to come to the island nation’s aid, the country’s defense minister has said.
Tensions have continued to rise between China and the democratic island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and Japan has historically refused to clarify how it would respond if China attacked.
But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised new fears in Tokyo about the possibility of a conflict between China and Taiwan so close.
Ino Toshiro, Japan’s Minister of State for Defense, said: “If people around the world are willing to support Taiwan, in the same way that they supported Ukraine when we witnessed Russia’s aggression, then yes, it would be quite possible for us to provide some kind of support to Taiwan.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Japan’s Minister of State for Defense Toshiro pictured in May ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit in May.
He added: “I’m not sure at this point if it will be defense team support or if it will be logistics support.”
In addition to the imminent threat of an invasion of Taiwan, Japan has also been alarmed by China’s aggressive rearmament under Xi Jinping.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr. Ino said: “We believe that China is increasing its military budget and dramatically increasing its assertiveness in maritime zones.” Until now, we have not seen this level of threat before.