Majority of Japanese Reluctant to Defend Taiwan if China Invades: Poll
A survey by a Japanese media outlet has found that most in the country are concerned about their government helping Taiwan in a Chinese invasion.
Beijing claims that Taiwan is part of its territory, which should be reunited with the mainland “even by force, if necessary.”
Eighty percent of the 3,000 adults surveyed by Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper expressed fear that Tokyo would get caught up in the conflict if China were to attack the island nation.
Fifty-six percent of those polled also said the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) should only provide rear-echelon support, such as fuel, food, and medical supplies.
Meanwhile, 11 percent agreed that the Japanese military should join forces with the US to counter Chinese attacks.
“People in general do not want war and I would say that most people in Okinawa are opposed to the Japanese military getting involved in any conflict over Taiwan,” activist Shinako Oyakawa told Deutsche Welle.
Tokyo did not explicitly announce that it would send troops to the self-governing nation once an invasion begins.
However, it said that an invasion of Taiwan would also pose a threat to Japan, leaving China in control of sea lanes to transport most of Tokyo’s energy needs and food supplies.
Japan’s move to boost its defense spending and upgrade its naval and air capabilities also suggests that the JSDF is preparing for an escalation of conflict.
But for several political analysts, the survey result is not surprising.
Oyakawa said the people of Japan know how brutal war can be, and no one would want to see that happen again.
“But if Japan became involved, that is exactly what would happen,” she warned.
A Different View
Hiromichi Moteki, a spokesperson for the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, offered a different view of why Japan should defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion.
He said that if Tokyo does not join forces with the Americans in a time of need, the country may not receive help if threatened.
“My feeling is that we need to stand up to countries that threaten us and support our friends when they are also in danger,” Moteki stressed.