Japan’s Chinese policy turns into conflict in 2021

Since the beginning of 2021, there have been major changes in diplomatic relations between the two East Asian countries, Japan and China. Currently, the Government of Japan is facing a dramatic turning point in confronting China over various issues such as the conflict area between Taiwan’s East China Sea and South China Sea, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the human rights situation in Hong Kong.

A few days before Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited the United States, the Kyoto Press released a detailed article on the Chinese Communist Party website on April 5, entitled “Focus: Japan’s China Strategy is in Crisis.” Dealing with its neighbor, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration.

The report emphasized that if China forcibly invades Taiwan, Japan could fall into a national crisis, according to U.S. military officials’ predictions.

On March 23, Admiral John Aquilino of the U.S. Navy, a candidate for U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander, testified to the Senate Military Committee and, based on various investigations, China sent to Taiwan before 2045. Estimated that it may decide to launch a military attack. ..

“In my opinion, this issue is much closer to us than most people think,” he warned.

However, Admiral Phil Davidson, the current US Indo-Pacific commander, seemed more pessimistic.

At a hearing of the Senkaku Military Commission on March 9, Davidson said China’s invasion of Taiwan could come within the “next six years,” while the Western Pacific said China would be Taiwan. Stop military action over the Senkaku Islands.

The Senkaku Islands are a disputed sea area, and are called Jumping Fish Island in Taiwan and Jumping Fish Island in China.
Japan is reportedly considering deploying US land-based missiles on its territory as an important means of forcing China to discontinue its ambitions for Taiwan.

Taiwan under military pressure from China

Free and democratic Taiwan is essential to Japan’s national security for geographical, political and economic reasons, according to a February 9 opinion piece from The Japan Times.

Taiwan is the closest democracy to Japan, and the distance between them is only about 110 km (68 miles).

Frank Hsieh, chairman of the Japan-Taiwan Relations Association, recently told Jiji Press that China sees the United States as its greatest enemy and Japan as its second largest enemy.

“If Taiwan is occupied by China, Japan will have to face the threat of China head-on,” She said. “If Taiwan was in an emergency, Japan couldn’t avoid it.”

However, Taiwan has endured great pressure from the Chinese Communist Party, which sees the island of democracy as an integral part of China, and has “liberated” or “reunified” Taiwan with the mainland in decades of publicity. In other words, he announced that he would occupy Taiwan. Force as needed.

Epoch Times Photo
Map based on the map of the Ministry of Defense of China shows eastern China
Sea defense identification zone.This area contains the disputed Senkaku
Indicates that the islands are within the territorial waters. (Diana Hubert / Epoch Times)

In 2020, after President Tsai Ing-wen won the reelection, the Chinese Communist Party stepped up military exercises against Taiwan.

Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on March 26, 2020. They included four nuclear-capable H-6K bombers, ten J-16 fighters, two Y-8 anti-aircraft fighters, and a KJ-. 500 airborne early warning and control aircraft. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, this was the most serious intrusion ever.

The Chinese Communist Party’s military harassment did not stop when a major train wreck occurred on April 2, 2021 in Taiwan, killing 50 people and injuring many others.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi expressed concern at a press conference on April 2, 2021 that the gap in military power between China and Taiwan would widen.

Two days later, when asked on a Fuji TV show if he was worried about China’s operations, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga replied, “Yes.”

The impending Taiwan crisis is urging the Japanese government to make important choices and strengthen cooperation with the United States, Kyodo News reported.

On March 16th of this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin visited Tokyo for a 2 plus 2 ministerial meeting with Japanese counterparts.

At the meeting, they agreed that China’s actions were becoming more aggressive. Austin emphasized that the US-Japan alliance system is the best way to combat China’s volatile efforts.
This was the first trip outside the United States by Biden administration officials.

China’s new Coast Guard Act

On January 22, 2021, the National People’s Congress (NPC), the rubber stamp parliament of China, passed the China Coast Guard Act, which came into effect on February 1. necessary.

Atsushi Tsuruta, an associate professor of international law at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan, argued that law is a challenge for Japan because the definition of waters under its jurisdiction in China is ambiguous. After scrutinizing the text of the law, he identified the China Coast Guard as a maritime law enforcement and military agency.

The Coast Guard Act has evoked strong reactions from China’s neighbors, including Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

On February 4, the Government of Japan expressed “strong concern” about the controversial law at the 12th Japan-China Maritime High-Level Council.

The China Coast Guard is sailing near the disputed East China Sea islands on August 6, 2016. Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the Japanese Coast Guard filed a protest after discovering the vessel with a fleet of 230 Chinese fishing vessels on Saturday. The battlefield islands dominated by Japan. China also claims to call the islands Diaoyu Dao.  (11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)
A Chinese Coast Guard vessel will sail near the disputed East China Sea islands on August 6, 2016. (11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

In fact, according to Nikkei Asia, Chinese government vessels sailed the adjacent area around Senkax for 333 days (a record number) in 2020, and there were multiple incidents of tracking Japanese fishing vessels in Japanese territorial waters. The China Coast Guard reportedly has two patrol vessels weighing over 10,000 tons, making it the largest coast guard in the world.

On February 20, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed concern in the G7 negotiations that China was unilaterally trying to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

Wen Jao, a Chinese commentator, said: [Beijing] It passed the China Coast Guard Act, which provided the basis for China’s acquisition of the Senkaku Islands. Japan is unbearably worried that the Chinese Communist Party will use its military power and the Senkaku Islands to swallow Taiwan. “

“Japan must show a clearer attitude towards cooperation with the United States,” Wen added.

Japan opposes China’s human rights violations

China is notorious for its bad human rights abuses, but Japan has been very cautious about this delicate issue for decades, avoiding friction with its largest trading partner, China.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Mogi will call China’s Wang Yi on April 5 to improve the human rights situation in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region or crack down on democratic activists in Hong Kong, according to an RFI report. I urged China to stop. ..

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese police officers push Uighur women protesting on the streets of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on July 7, 2009. (Guang Niu / Getty Images)

However, on April 6, about 40 Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers began a bipartisan effort to draft a bill that would allow Japan to impose sanctions on individuals and groups for human rights abuses.

Gen Nakatani, a former LDP defense minister, said, “We need action, not just words, and it seems unlikely that Japan alone is avoiding this problem.”