Japan and the Security of the Taiwan Strait

  • June Teufel Dreyer


Although Japanese interest in Taiwan’s security did not totally disappear after Tokyo formally relinquished control of its former colony, it was informal and conducted largely out of public view. Both Japan and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan were under American protection, and Japan was constitutionally barred from maintaining a military force. In addition, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) remained essentially a continental force with little ability to project power beyond the country’s borders. After months of hostile PLA actions in and around the Taiwan Strait in 1995–1996 that looked like they might be a prelude to invasion, Tokyo became more concerned with ensuring the stability of the Strait and has gradually assumed a more active posture in tandem with Washington. It agreed to provide the United States with logistics support in contingencies involving “the areas surrounding Japan,” and in February 2005, the two sides issued a statement that a peaceful Taiwan Strait was a common strategic objective.


Japanese Government Democratic Progressive Party Japanese Colonial South China Morning Missile Launch 
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© Peter C. Y. Chow 2008

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  • June Teufel Dreyer

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