Japan demands global response for ‘survival of Taiwan’ after China’s nuclear threat

Japan’s defence minister has urged the world to be vigilant and ensure the “survival of Taiwan”. The Japanese minister has warned that China’s military is surrounding the island. Nobuo Kishi, the younger brother of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, called for the world to unite to prevent Taiwan’s future from being decided by military confrontation with Beijing.

The outspoken comments from the Japanese official is a break from the norm, where Tokyo has avoided speaking publically about tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

Japan has now produced a defence white paper that has an explicit reference to Taiwan.

The white paper describes the need for a greater “sense of crisis” when concerning tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

This defence report gives a startling warning that the overall military balance between China and Taiwan was now “tilting to China’s favour”.

Mr Kishi said: “We’re seeing various moves by China that work to envelop Taiwan.”

The outspoken comments from Japan’s defence minister come as the Chinese Communist Party aired a video in which it warned Japan of a nuclear response and “full-scale war” if Tokyo interfered in China’s handling of Taiwan.

According to Fox News, the video, which appeared on a channel approved by the Chinese government, stated: “We will use nuclear bombs first.

“We will use nuclear bombs continuously.

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The surrounding of the island by China’s military has included naval vessels observed in waters off Taiwan’s eastern coast.

The Japanese minister was present in a publicity photograph staring across the 110km strait that separates Taiwan from Japan’s westernmost island of Yonaguni.

This was interpreted as Japan’s message that peace in the Taiwan Strait would only be assured if the international community, including Japan, demanded it.

Speaking to the Financial Times Mr Kishi added: “Rather than a direct military collision between China and Taiwan, international society needs to pay greater attention to the survival of Taiwan.”

The news comes as Washington and Tokyo have begun to plan for a possible all-out conflict between China and Taiwan.

The Japanese deputy prime minister Taro Aso has said military conflict in Taiwan could quickly become an existential threat to Japan.

These words were interpreted as extremely significant because under Japan’s post-war US enforced constitution, the nation can only resort to using force if it faces an existential threat.

Mr Kishi added: “While maintaining the existing framework, we want to reach a mutual understanding via various initiatives, or through the exchange of views between Japan and the United States.”

Japan’s defence minister said that Taiwan was combining “asymmetric military capabilities”, which use cheaper weapons to offset an adversary’s strength.

He said that these included a “multi-layered defence system”.

Mr Kishi has now said Japan would like to see a greater role played by European powers in the region.

He said: “A lot of countries have shown their sympathy with our idea of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“We can together send a strong message on regional peace and stability”.

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