Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government approved Japan’s annual defense white paper in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (July 13), which pointed to China as their main national security concern.
Growing military tensions around Taiwan, as well as economic and technological rivalry between China and the U.S. threaten peace and stability in East Asia, Japan said in the paper.
Beijing’s recent uptick in military activity around Taiwan has Tokyo worried since the island lies close to the Okinawa chain at the western end of the Japanese archipelago.
Chinese President Xi Jinping this month pledged to complete the “reunification” with Taiwan. In June, Xi criticised the U.S. as a “risk creator” after it sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the Chinese mainland.
Japan’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, Taro Aso, said Japan should join forces with the U.S. to defend Taiwan from any invasion, in a speech reported by Japanese media this month. Aso later said any contingency over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue when asked about the remarks, which drew a rebuke from Beijing.