Japan Making Moves to Deter Chinese Aggression, Panel Says

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JS Murasame (DD 101) during the 2021 Japan-Vanuatu Goodwill Exercise. JMSDF Photo

Japan’s view that its security is “inextricable tied” to Taiwan’s has gone from words to actions, as Tokyo for the first time is participating in exercises to deter Chinese aggression, an expert in Asia-Pacific affairs said Monday.

“Beijing has to make an estimate of U.S. and Japanese will” to defend Taiwan against overt aggression before it could switch its current tactics from psychological coercion, violations of Taiwanese airspace, and putting higher economic barriers on Taipei to an outright invasion, according to Patrick Cronin, the Asia-Pacific Security Chair at the Hudson Institute.

What Xi Jinping and the Central Military Commission would see right now are not words in a Japanese Ministry of Defense white paper signaling a shift in Tokyo’s view of roles and missions in securing a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, but Japan actively engaged with…

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