The Japanese defence paper, released on Tuesday, suggests Tokyo aims to stabilise the situation surrounding Taiwan in a bid to increase the security of the region. The white paper said: “Stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for Japan’s security and the stability of the international community.”
It added that Taiwan is threatened by “increased military pressure” from China.
It marks the first time Taiwanese stability has been mentioned in the annual white paper.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, warned the comments in the paper were “extremely wrong and irresponsible.”
Japanese critics have also pointed out that any attempt to disrupt Chinese actions in the region would go against Article 9 of Japan’s constitution.
The Japanese law bans war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state and bans the maintenance of armed forces with “war potential”.
Japan does not have an army per se, but has Self-defence forces which have joined large-scale military drills with the US to deter Beijing’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas.
Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times that Japan had recognised the democratically ruled island and predicted it may provide arms to the island.
He adds that any arms trade would break China’s bottom line.
In response, Mr Zhao said the islands were also a part of Chinese territory and the vessels were conducting legitimate and lawful exercises.
Japanese ministers fear that if anything were to happen in Taiwan, several other contested islands in the region might also be affected.
Several Japanese islands are in close proximity to China, such as Okinawa, the Senkaku and Ryukyu islands.
Back in 2013, Beijing claimed the Ryukyus belonged to China however, Japan vehemently rejected the notion.