Japanese minister says ‘wake up’ is necessary to protect Taiwan

Then Japanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama speaks at the White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit at the State Department in Washington on February 19, 2015. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts / File Photo

WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister on Monday warned of the growing threat posed by Sino-Russian collaboration and said there was a need to “wake up” Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan and to protect the island “as a democratic country”. “

Speaking to the Hudson Institute think tank, Minister of State for Defense Yasuhide Nakayama questioned whether the decision of many countries, including Japan and the United States, to follow a policy of ” a single China ”which recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei since the 1970s would stand the test of time.

“Was he fair?” he asked during the online event, referring to how future generations will judge policy makers on the issue. “I do not know.”

Nakayama said democratic countries should protect each other and noted that he had in the past called Taiwan a “red line.” Read more

“So we must protect Taiwan as a democratic country.”

Nakayama noted that Japan and Taiwan were geographically close, and added that if anything happened to Taiwan, it would affect the Japanese Okinawa Prefecture, where US forces and their families are based.

Nakayama pointed to the growing threats posed by China in space, missile technology, computing, and nuclear and conventional forces, and said that under Xi Jinping’s leadership, she had “a thought and an aggressive will, aggressive … “.

“So wake up. We have to wake up,” he said.

Nakayama said there was a need to deter China and Russia, which had stepped up exercises in Japanese-claimed territory and near US territory in Hawaii.

“You can see China and Russia working together as they conduct military exercises around our neighbors,” Nakayama said, adding that he wanted to see the United States “grow stronger.”

Nakayama referred to Tokyo’s decision to remove its 1% of GDP cap on defense spending. He said Japan needed to spend more on weapons, including missiles, and cut costs, given that 50% of its budget was spent on personnel.

Washington and Tokyo should strengthen technological collaboration in the face of closer Chinese and Russian cooperation, he said.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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