The Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military have drawn up a draft joint operation plan that would enable the setup of an attack base along the southwest Nansei island chain in the event of a Taiwan contingency, according to Japanese government sources.

Japan and the United States will likely agree to begin work to formalize an operation plan when their foreign and defense chiefs meet in early January under the "two-plus-two" framework, the sources said Thursday.

The development will likely draw a backlash from China, which regards the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.