Japan’s ongoing attempts at interference in Taiwan Straits only a pipe dream: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 21, 2021 04:38 PM
Japanese Self-Defense Force ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors are seen in position on the grounds in Ishigaki, Okinawa prefecture on February 7, 2016.Photo: AFP

Japanese Self-Defense Force ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors are seen in position on the grounds in Ishigaki, Okinawa prefecture on February 7, 2016.Photo: AFP

Japan's Ishigaki Island, which is close to Okinawa Prefecture, could have been a tranquil tourist attraction. However, foreign media reports show that construction of a missile base is underway there by Japan. Previously, there were reports that Japan's Ministry of Defense was planning to deploy the Ground Self-Defense Force missile units on the island of Ishigaki by the end of 2022, with the units to be manned by 500 to 600 Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops.
As a sovereign country, Japan has the right to deploy missiles on its own territory. However, as a defeated country in the World War II, Japan is only allowed to possess the "Self-Defense Forces" as part of the existing international order. There is nothing wrong with deploying missiles with only defensive functions, but it's obvious that when a missile base is established, the functions of missiles can be switched at any time.
The Ishigaki Island is only 300 kilometers off the coast of the island of Taiwan. More and more analysts believe that Japand's construction of a missile base on the Ishigaki Island is likely not just for countering the "increasingly active Chinese navy in the first island chain." Japan's intention to intervene in the Taiwan Straits situation is only too obvious. This view is not without basis. For some time, Japanese politicians have made no secrets of their attempts to interfere in the Taiwan Straits. Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said arrogantly in his speech on Sunday that the Chinese mainland wants to "invade Taiwan." Previously, he claimed that "a Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency." Right-wing Japanese politician Sanae Takaichi insisted that "diplomatic means alone are not enough" to peacefully resolve cross-Straits questions. She said that the US and Japan should formulate a joint combat plan and incorporate Taiwan into the international cooperation mechanism as soon as possible, with a special focus on the implementation of joint military exercises. Neither Abe nor Takaichi are incumbent officials within the Fumio Kishida administration, but when their influence in the political arena is taking into consideration, the relations between their remarks and the Japanese government's position are actually ambiguous.
More noteworthy is the fact that Japan has shown more signs of military coordination with the US and Europe. Since the beginning of 2021, Japan has conducted many joint military exercises. For example, it is very enthusiastic about the military cooperation among the US, Japan, India, and Australia, and it has conducted joint naval exercises with France, Germany and the UK. Although Japan claims the exercises are not "aimed at a third country," anyone with a discerning eye can see that the exercises are obviously targeting the Chinese mainland. This shows that Japan is trying to use more international coordination to "oppose China," and this is far more dangerous than political and economic coordination.
Besides, the US has long had plans to deploy medium-range missiles in Asia. But because no country is willing to be dragged into risks of war, none of US allies wants to join the plan. However, some analysts believe that Japan, which is eager to create a disturbance, is very likely to accept this plan, and the specific location is very likely to be on Ishigaki Island.
Previously, Japan had deployed anti-ship and air-defense missiles on its southwest islands of Amami Oshima, Okinawa Main Island, and Miyako Island. Japan's weaponization of its southwest islands is in fact helping the US to promote its containment strategy against China in the Asia-Pacific. Tokyo has regarded itself as the "deputy sheriff" of the Indo-Pacific. However, the strategic deterrence that Japanese politicians are imagining will have no effect, but only show their arrogance as they play with fire. If they dare to launch missiles at the Taiwan Straits, we are fully capable of turning the base on the islands into shards of rocks. 
The international community should be highly vigilant about Japanese right-wing forces' mentality of playing with fire. Japanese militarism has brought grave disasters to many countries in Asia and around the world. On December 7, the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nearly 100 Japanese lawmakers from several political parties visited the Yasukuni Shrine which enshrines infamous Japanese WWII war criminals including 14 A-Class individuals. Regrettably, US political elites were unconcerned about this kind of blatant commemoration of historical sinners. They turned a blind eye to this and did not hesitate to disgrace the US' anti-fascism martyrs. 
Japanese politicians are dreaming of interfering in the Taiwan Straits, and they hope that the Japanese people will follow them into this hypnosis. The missile base on Ishigaki Island will not turn this delusion into reality but only breaks it into shards. Facts will eventually prove that, compared with China's firm national will and strong countermeasures, those Japanese missile bases attempting to target China are nothing but paper tigers.