TOKYO — A conflict in the Taiwan Strait would present one of the biggest challenges to Japan’s security, a new defense white paper shows, as Tokyo delves into unprecedented detail on how it plans to protect the country’s territory in such a scenario.
Japan must “pay close attention” to the Taiwan Strait “with a sense of crisis more than ever before,” the document published Tuesday said.
The Defense Ministry cited the importance of cross-strait stability in its annual report for the first time, signaling a growing sense of urgency from the 2020 white paper, which said “attention needs to be paid to trends” regarding Chinese and Taiwanese forces. China has refused to renounce the use of force to reunify self-ruled Taiwan with the mainland.
Should an armed clash break out in the strait, Japan likely would need to protect U.S. warships carrying Japanese evacuees from the region and defend American bases against missile attacks under the…