Japan’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would consider its “options” and make necessary “preparations” toward supporting Taiwan if China continues to ramp up its military intimidation of the island.
Asked by reporters how Tokyo views Beijing’s record-breaking flyovers through Taiwanese airspace in recent days, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said he hoped “this matter is resolved peacefully between the two parties through direct talks.”
“Additionally, instead of simply monitoring the situation, we hope to weigh the various possible scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have, as well as the preparations we must make,” he said at an October 5 press briefing.
“Motegi’s comments on Taiwan mark a departure from the past by explicitly speaking of possible involvement, and were also aimed at drawing international attention to the issue and pressing China,” Reuters observed on Tuesday, citing the analysis of political experts.
“That part was always unspoken … but this time, they’re taking a stronger stand,” Yoichiro Sato, an international relations professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, told Reuters on October 5.
Japan’s use of assertive language while addressing the Taiwan-China conflict on October 5 signaled a significant shift in rhetoric according to Robert Ward, a London-based senior fellow for Japanese Security Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
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