Japan's 'tricks' no obstacle to reunification: expert
Japan has sparked outrage with news that its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will carry out a simulated exercise next week on the assumption that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are engaged in a military clash.
The drill will take place from Monday to Friday on the scenario that the U.S. military and the SDF would jointly fight with Chinese military forces in the event of a clash between the mainland and Taiwan, Kyodo News reported.
The U.S. will be participating as an observer, a government source told Kyodo Wednesday.
A anonymous officer of the Chinese defense ministry told the Global Times on Thursday that "if Kyodo News' report is true, it would be a gross interference in China's domestic affairs, fomenting intentional strife for cross-Straits relations, and causing serious damage to Sino-Japanese relations, especially defense relations."
"We demand Japan reflect on its history of invasion, and not to play tricks, otherwise it will harm others as well as itself," the officer said.
The mainland now has the capability to unify Taiwan by military means, even if Japan launches military intervention to support Taiwan's independence, experts say, with only the U.S. remaining as a last obstacle.
According to Kyodo, Japanese law allows the SDF to conduct such activities only if an "emergency" occurs in areas surrounding Japan.
"If the Chinese mainland unified Taiwan successfully, it means Japan will lose the chance to contain China and challenge China's great power status in Asia forever, so it has the determination to launch a military intervention to interrupt China's unification," Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military expert told the Global Times on Thursday.
The Japanese defense ministry "plans to check how SDF personnel should perform new duties allowed under Japan's security laws in the outbreak of a situation deemed to pose serious threats to Japan's peace and security," Kyodo reported.
Song added that "this kind of tabletop exercise is not new. Since Chen Shui-bian's (Taiwan's former leader 2000-08) era, Japan is always prepared to help 'Taiwan independence' by various means, such as military, intelligence, finance, propaganda and so on."
In the past, due to restrictions on Japan's pacifist post-war constitution, military intervention was not easy. But Japan successfully pushed the passing of controversial security bills in 2015, Song said, making it much easier for its SDF to launch a military intervention.
According to Kyodo, "the revised security legislation, which took effect last March, expands the SDF's role in providing logistical support to other nation's militaries when Japan's peace and security are deemed threatened, regardless of location."
Japan and Taiwan are not strong enough together to be an obstacle if any war happens. But if the U.S. decided to intervene, it would be a serious challenge for the Chinese military, Song said. "So the People's Liberation Army's preparation is always for a U.S.-Japan joint intervention."