By Liu Gang
The current Japanese cabinet dominated by the new generation of politicians is faced with major decisions and risks under the manipulation of the US "Indo-Pacific Strategy". The deviated and self-locked diplomatic policies and moves of the Kishida administration have invited huge political and security risks, posing a great threat to the future development of Japan as well as the stability and well-being of its people.
First, Japan's attempt to meddle in the Taiwan Strait poses political and security risks. The frequent inappropriate remarks related to the Taiwan question made by the Japanese politicians reflect the anxiety and unease of certain groups in this country, who intend to achieve a breakthrough in the domestic and foreign policies and transform the long-term economic and social stagnation in the nation by interfering in the affairs of the Taiwan Strait.
Japan's interference in the Taiwan Strait aims at ensuring the implementation of the Security Treaty between the United States and Japan, so as to obtain protection from the US and fulfill its long-cherished wish of becoming a political and military powerhouse by following the wills and ideological values of Uncle Sam.
From the objective aspect, Japan is located at the northern end of the first island chain in the Western Pacific Ocean, which runs from north to south and borders the continent of China, forming an economic and energy channel for Japan. The stability and prosperity of maritime traffic in East Asia and the West Pacific are certainly of great significance to the production and living of the Japanese people. However, the reckless provocation of the island separatist forces under the instigation of Japan and the US has triggered a series of unstable factors.
The Taiwan question is China's internal affair, and the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-Japan relations. The experience of the past few decades shows that although the two countries have different ideologies, common development and prosperity can be achieved as long as both uphold the principle of peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation. However, certain Japanese politicians failed to view the modernization and rise of China objectively and rationally. The author believes that the root cause lies in the collective consciousness of miscalculating the international situation in the Japanese political circles.
Second, Japan's policy impulse to assist the US to intervene in the Taiwan Strait is pushing Okinawa and the Southwest Islands into war. Realistically, some Japanese politicians blindly obsessed with opportunism adopt a policy of kidnapping the people, which cannot effectively protect its economic and energy arteries, but might lead the surrounding regions, especially the so-called Southwest Islands, to the abyss of war. Did the Japanese politicians ever think about the huge price Japan would have to pay once the US troops left?
Some Japanese politicians fabricate the "China threat theory" from time to time, employing the so-called "national interests" to manipulate the peace-loving people in the country and spreading the rhetoric that "China is going to rob the Japanese and change their lives", very similar to the reproduced version of right-wing forces' street slogans. In the past two years, the Japanese government has aggressively built military facilities and missile bases on some islands near Taiwan, making the local people worry that their residences might be transformed into the frontline of military conflicts. In fact, many people in the Southwest Islands including Okinawans, have participated in protests to express their strong objection to further militarizing the islands.
The Chinese side kindly reminded the Japanese party to put itself in the Chinese shoes in a recent bilateral dialogue: How do the Japanese feel should China put forward an issue around the status of Ryukyu (or should China support the independence of Okinawa or Ryukyu)? Some Japanese senators immediately jumped up and said that was impossible. Then the Japanese side should think about whether it is possible in terms of China's Taiwan.
Third, the cost of war is unbearable from the respective of the Japanese civilians. Okinawa, Hiroshima and many other cities have paid a heavy price for the wars. Horribly suffering from the pain of war, the older generation of Japanese people concern much on the country back to war, and certainly do not support the new generation of politicians to embark on the dangerous road of making the country a military powerhouse again in the excuse of "trouble in the Taiwan Strait". A succession of spontaneous civilian protests has been staged in this country recently.
However, due to the defects of the electoral political system, it is difficult for the Japanese people to coordinate their opinions and form effective synergy to prevent the dangerous moves of the conservative forces in the country. The arduous normalization course of China-Japanese diplomatic relations demonstrates that some Japanese politicians have been attempting to maintain the situation of "neither unification nor independence" across the Taiwan Strait. The recent fact that Tokyo inflamed the situation in the Taiwan Strait and vigorously propelled the "Asian Pacific version of NATO" is tantamount to adding fuel to the fire, which is very dangerous.
Blindly following the US to intervene in Taiwan affairs will inevitably bring about huge political costs and sacrifice the long-term interests of the Japanese people. Japanese politicians need to bear in mind the big picture of China-Japan relations in the new era and re-examine the wrong calculations and deflected policies.
(The author is an emeritus professor at Okinawa University)
Editor's note: Originally published on huanqiu.com, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.