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In recent months, Tokyo has issued increasingly bold statements of support for Taiwan against Chinese intimidation, even hinting at military support during potential hostilities. An expanded Japanese alliance role in protecting regional security is a welcome development.

However, the extent to which Tokyo would join U.S. forces in protecting Taiwan remains uncertain, as does the ability of the habitually slow Japanese decision-making process to respond expeditiously during a crisis. U.S. policymakers should engage with Tokyo to remove political impediments to action and coordinate military contingency plans.

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