The White Paper on National Defense: The Threat of China Becomes a Reality

China, which is building up its armed forces at a rapid pace, has shown that it will not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force. It is important for Japan to prepare itself for unforeseen contingencies in cooperation with the United States.

The 2021 edition of the Defense Ministry’s white paper has just been released. The main feature of the report is its focus on the escalating confrontation between the United States and China.

For the first time, it clearly recognizes of the importance of the stability of the situation in Taiwan to Japan’s security and mentions the possibility of China taking military action. China’s capabilities, intentions and actual actions all support this potentiality.

Looking at China’s coercive activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea backed by its military expansion, it must be said that the threat from China is becoming a reality.

In his speech to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear his strong determination that the reunification of Taiwan is a “historic mission.” The Chinese military has been stepping up its military activities, including the entry of fighter jets into the airspace around Taiwan.

Japan and the U.S. need to strengthen their military preparations so that China will not be misled into believing that an invasion of Taiwan is possible.

Japan has been able to exercise a limited right of collective self-defense through the development of security-related laws. Specific studies should be conducted on how to deal with the situation in practice and how Japan and the U.S. should conduct joint operations.

In the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands, a number of Chinese maritime patrol vessels have begun to regularly sail through Japan’s connected waters, and have repeatedly intruded into territorial waters for more than 24 hours. The white paper emphasized that such activities are “a violation of international law.”

Unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force are unacceptable. It is essential that Japan’s coast guard and Self-Defense Forces work more closely together to deal with the situation.

If China were to use military force in the Taiwan Strait or in the East and South China Seas, it would be very detrimental to China’s own national interests.

It is important for Japan to send a clear message to China and urge it to exercise restraint. In cooperation with the international community, Japan must strive to maintain international order based on the rule of law.

The white paper positioned North Korea as a “serious and imminent threat,” saying that it is believed to already possess the capability to launch a nuclear attack on Japan.

I hope that the government will formulate a new policy to improve its missile prevention capabilities, keeping in mind the potential for an attack from a nearby enemy base.

The white paper indicated that competition between the U.S. and China is expected to become even more intense in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. I hope that Japan will also promote research and development of defense equipment while preventing the outflow of important technologies overseas.

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About Owen 15 Articles
I am currently a university student with a degree in International Affairs and a soon to be degree in Japanese. I enjoy reading books, talking with people, and learning new things.

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