Japan Needs To Prepare for a US Emergency



On Aug. 6 and 7, the think tank Japan Forum for Strategic Studies hosted a forum on how the Japanese government should prepare for a Taiwan Strait crisis. I participated in the Taiwan Emergency” desk exercise as a senior researcher of the Forum and also as an observer for Japan Forward, an English-language opinion website.

The Sense of ‘Emergency’ Was Heightened

On Saturday and Sunday, I felt that two important points were highlighted. The first was that there was a sense of a different level of crisis in the “Japanese government” than during the previous the desk exercise in which current Diet members and former bureaucrats participated.

“Crisis” scenarios, including cyberattacks, were thrown at the participants by the “joint chiefs of staff,” which was headed by Kiyofumi Iwata, former chief of staff for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. The participants, including Itsunori Onodera who played the role of prime minister, Rui Matsukawa who played the role of foreign minister, and Taku Otsuka who played the role of defense minister, all played their roles with a sense of urgency. There is no doubt that the observation “a Taiwan emergency is a Japan emergency” noted by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was shot and killed in July, is finally being widely understood by Japanese society.

The real tension was due in part to the impact of China’s military exercises and outburst, including the shooting of ballistic missiles into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

However, there is another concern that has come to light. The U.S. presence is very centralized and lacks a sense of reality.

During the desk exercise, as the crisis in response to Chinese aggression and other factors unfolded, the Japanese “prime minister” and “defense minister” rushed to “Washington” (in the next room) to meet with Kevin Maher, former director of the State Department’s Office of Japan Affairs who played the role of U.S. president, and Akihisa Nagashima, who played the role of U.S. secretary of state. As expected, the U.S. government and the U.S military assisted. In other words, the U.S. was operating normally and deploying troops as needed and providing a nuclear umbrella to the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

The ‘Illusion’ that the US Will Help

This is impossible to my American eyes. The desk exercise looks more like fantasy than fiction at the moment.

The Washington Post reported that several U.S. historians met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Aug. 4. The Post pointed out that domestic division in the U.S. resembles the divide in 1860, when the country was on the verge of civil war.

The historians are leftists who work for U.S. universities and other institutions. However, there are ordinary U.S. citizens who agree with them. The U.S is internally divided in two. The alarming term “civil war” appears frequently in news and opinion columns.

It is surprising that a few days after the historians visited the White House, the FBI showed up at former President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion, raided his house, and took more than a dozen boxes of documents and other items. This was an unprecedented and extremely aggressive action by the federal government targeting the former president. It is also reported that they even looked into Melania Trump’s closet and went through her clothes.

Although Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray say that Trump had “classified” materials, Republican supporters, especially Trump’s supporters, do not believe what the federal government says. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also kept “classified” materials in her own home, but there was no FBI investigation.

Dangerous Situation for Japan as Well

Sandy Berger, a former national security advisor under Bill Clinton, hid on his person material criticizing former President Clinton’s counterterrorism efforts, stole it from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, and shredded it. Obviously he was trying to cover for Clinton, but Clinton escaped an FBI investigation. There are other examples of questionable FBI impartiality.

The impression is growing that the Democratic Party is “weaponizing” the federal government and attacking the Republican Party. The sense of trust among Americans has been lost. This is a very dangerous situation for Japan.

It is not just an FBI problem. Inflation in the U.S. continues, and prices are skyrocketing. Illegal immigration and accompanying drug and human trafficking continue unabated. There are record-setting rates of murder, robbery, and other serious crime in major cities that are growing daily.

In relation to China, it was also reported that the number of Chinese navy ships has surpassed that of the U.S. Navy. The mood in the U.S. has been widely negative, where people say that even before they fight, they have already lost.

In the simulated Taiwan emergency, the “U.S. president” acted as if the Reagan era had returned. But those days are over. Thanks to former Prime Minister Abe, the Japanese people have finally woken up to the dangers of a Taiwan emergency, but I hope that they are fully aware of the situation in the U.S. and are prepared for a U.S. emergency as well. The U.S. will not always come to Japan’s aid.

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