Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a brutal reminder that authoritarian countries may wreak violent havoc on their smaller, democratic neighbors at any time.

For China, that means Taiwan. And Japan increasingly sees the potential for it to be drawn into a U.S.-China conflict over the island.

China’s increasing military pressure against Taiwan has already spurred Tokyo to risk Beijing’s wrath by issuing increasingly bold public statements of support for Taipei. There is a new senior-level willingness to more directly align Japan’s national interests with protecting Taiwanese security, even hinting at military support during hostilities.