Japan needs a head blow to wake up: Global Times editorial
Published: Jun 08, 2022 12:43 AM
Well-trained pawn Illustration: Vitaly Podvitski

Well-trained pawn Illustration: Vitaly Podvitski

After Japanese media reported that the Japanese government has been considering having an incumbent official with Japanese Ministry of Defense stationed in Taiwan island for the first time beginning this summer, the Japanese government has not responded, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has also been unusually low-key. Both of them appear to have a hidden agenda. Japan needs to explain its recent moves concerning Taiwan, including this news, to China.

On Tuesday, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, spoke on the phone with the Secretary-General of Japan's National Security Secretariat Akiba Takeo.  Yang said that "At present, old and new issues are intertwined in China-Japan relations, and difficulties and challenges cannot be ignored." These lines were clearly targeted. Japan's escalating aggression and provocation toward the Taiwan question has become an unavoidable major risk for China-Japan relations.

If Japan sends an active-duty defense official to Taiwan, it will in fact break the post-war framework of Japan's relations with Taiwan, and China will react strongly. According to the Chinese version of Kyodo News on Monday, the Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to create a new unified commander post and a unified commander department for the land, maritime and air Self-Defense Forces, which is also seen as a move to "cope with China." Considering former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's public statements that "a Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency" and that "Japan, the US, and other allies must create a situation that forces China to give up seizing Taiwan by force," it can be seen that the rhetoric of Japan's right-wing former politician on the Taiwan question is gradually reflected in the current Japanese government's policy toward Taiwan island. 

Through the public opinion mobilization of Japanese right-wing politicians, an extremely dangerous "consensus" is shaping and growing in Japanese society, and its right-wing forces are also taking the opportunity to get rid of the checks and balances. 

Perhaps for Japanese right-wing forces, now is a rare "window," or even "the last chance," for Japan to seek relaxation in its military restrictions and reshape Japan's status in Asia. Therefore manipulating the Taiwan question has become more urgent than before, moving from tentative actions to almost semi-open activities, sometimes even abandoning tactical "hiding" or "ambiguity." The right-wing forces try to grab every "opportunity" and Russia-Ukraine conflict is no exception. According to Japanese media, Japan and China have been in "opposing camps" in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Japan decided to take a step forward on the Taiwan question without thinking too much about China's feelings. This is already quite revealing.

Japan is literally doing something that threatens China's core national interests, and China will not remain indifferent. We must remind Japan of what this step means. Taiwan question is China's internal affair. If an outsider wants to step in, we will "break its leg." 

Japan is even acting more aggressively than the US in its involvement in the Taiwan question, which may or may not stem entirely from Washington's encouragement. In fact, Japan's militarism, which has been sealed for half a century, is rising. It's necessary for Asia-Pacific powers to give Japan a blow to the head, so that it comes to its senses. In the end, this is good for Japan. 

It should be noted that Japan is responsible for its historical crimes in Asia. The very existence of the Taiwan question is related to the "disastrous seeds" planted by Japanese militarism, but what Japanese right-wing politicians are promoting today is an act that seriously fuels the arrogance of the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces. No matter how cleverly they speak, right and wrong cannot be reversed. If Japan binds its strategy to the revival of militarism, it is tantamount to jumping into a leaky boat while hoping to climb ashore before the boat sinks.