tirsdag 31. mai 2022

Japan, Emboldened by Biden and Wary Over Ukraine, Gets Tough on China

Traditionally pacifist Japan has begun to chart a new, more assertive course on regional security, especially toward China's ambitions in Taiwan, as U.S. President Joe Biden rallies Asian allies amid Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.

For years, Tokyo has drifted toward a more proactive defense posture. But the shift has taken on new meaning in the wake of Moscow's "special military operation" against neighboring Ukraine, a conflict with international reverberations, including in the Asia-Pacific region. Like Ukraine, Japan borders Russia at a set of disputed islands, but it is the prospect of worsening tensions with an even more influential China, a country with its own regional designs, that has fueled a transformation in Tokyo.

"The situation in Ukraine has kind of affected the psyche of the people in East Asia, including Japan, about the possibility of contingency in this region," a Japanese official told Newsweek. "So clearly, the cross-strait issue is getting more conspicuous in the Japanese people's minds, and that is also reflected in the question of the Japanese media."