« If it goes without saying, it will go even better by saying it“. This famous sentence of Talleyrand pronounced by the French diplomat at the Vienna summit in 1814, could be the punchline of the new White Paper on Defense published in the land of the rising sun. Indeed, Japan, although traditionally discreet and circumspect on the international scene, is particularly directive and clear in this document which will frame the Japanese defense effort for the decade to come, clearly designating Russia as an "aggressive nation". on the one hand, and China and its ambitions on Taiwan as a major threat to regional peace and the international balance that guarantees peace, especially since the autonomous island since 1949 is presented in the document as a strategic partner for Tokyo, which also shares the same democratic values as Japan . And to assure that Japan should do whatever is necessary to maintain the status quo that has allowed the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China to coexist and even grow together for the past 70 years.
While the Chinese authorities are increasing the warnings and the demonstrations of forces around Taiwan against the backdrop of the possible visit of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the American House of Representatives, to Taipei on the occasion of an Asian tour starting today in Singapore, the publication of this new white paper clearly highlights the risk of conflict that now exists in the Pacific, both with China around the Taiwan question, with Russia on the subject of the territorial dispute between the two countries around the Kuril Islands, in particular drawing a parallel with the situation that preceded the launch of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the latter representing, according to Tokyo, a threat to peace exceeding the purely European framework.
Beyond the risk inherent in Chinese and Russian ambitions, Tokyo is also concerned, in this framework document, about the links that are being created between these two nations, which are likely to create a challenge for peace and global balances well beyond what existed in the past, particularly in the Indo-Pacific zone, it is true relatively preserved beyond the Korean War and the Indochinese wars during the Cold War. In particular, Beijing's now clear will to attach Taiwan by force if necessary to the People's Republic of China, is designated in the document as a critical threat to Japanese interests, a term that takes on its full meaning when reading the constitution. revised in 2019 by Shinzo Abe then Prime Minister, and which authorizes the use of armed force, and in particular the Japanese self-defense forces, to protect the vital interests of the country, including in a preventive manner.
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