US & Japan Reportedly Designed New Joint Military Strategy for Potential 'Taiwan Emergency'

© REUTERS / Kiyoshi OtaU.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken together with Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi wear protective face masks as they pose for a photo prior to the Japan - U.S. Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting in Tokyo, Japan, March 16, 2021
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken together with Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi wear protective face masks as they pose for a photo prior to the Japan - U.S. Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting in Tokyo, Japan, March 16, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.12.2021
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The United States military and Japan’s Self-Defense forces have devised a joint draft operation to use Japan’s Nansei Island chain in the event of an emergency involving Taiwan. The Nansei Island chain stretches from the Japanese island of Kyushu in the north to Taiwan in the south.
Citing sources from within the Japanese government, Kyodo News reported that the proposed contingency plan would see an undisclosed number of US Marine deployed to set up a temporary attack base on the Nansei Islands.
At present, Okinawa, a Japanese island in the chain, currently hosts the majority of all US military installations in Japan.
The plan, which is expected to provoke serious blowback from Beijing, would also see US military forces deploy a high-mobility artillery rocket system to a temporary base location, with Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) offering logistical support where US Marines would relocate to minimize their chances of facing a direct attack.
Sources indicated to the outlet that the contingency plan would only be executed if the Japanese government determined that a conflict between Beijing and Taiwan would threaten the peace and security of Japan.
It is believed that the plan will be formalized in January 2022, when foreign and defense chiefs from the US and Japan meet. However, the decision to use the island chain as a base of operation would make it a target of attack. The risk to those who live on the islands would require legal changes in Tokyo.
In recent years, the US military and Japan’s SDF have taken steps to strengthen defense cooperation. The two allies reportedly view the region’s military power dynamic as 'shifting rapidly', citing China's increased military and naval power, and North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile program as the main 'threat.'
Last April, the US and Japan, made a joint statement saying, “We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”
Beijing has long stood by its "One-China" policy that views Taiwan as a rogue province in need of being brought back into the fold. Earlier in November, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen revealed that US troops have helped train the Taiwanese military. In an exclusive with CNN, the Taiwanese official stated that it saw a growing threat from China "every day."
Beijing have stressed its steadfast opposition to any official and military contact between the United States and Taiwan, earlier urging foreign powers to steer clear of its internal territorial disputes. Regional tensions have seen a spike over the past decade as a result of disputes regarding the South China Sea.
Uninhabited islands such as the Spratly, Paracel and Senkaku islands are among territories heavily disputed by regional powers including Japan, Bejing and Taiwan. In 2012, the Japanese government purchased three islands from a private owner which prompted protests in mainland China. The contested region is directly adjacent to the Nansei Island chain.
Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, more recently created diplomatic controversy with comments he made at a Taiwanese think tank on November 30th.

Speaking virtually he said, “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. People in Beijing, President Xi Jinping in particular, should never have a misunderstanding in recognizing this.”

The comments prompted Beijing to lash out against Abe, saying he "talked nonsense." The Chinese government also responded by summoning Japan's ambassador to China for an emergency meeting.
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