On the issue of China and its belligerence toward Taiwan, Japan faces an agonizing dilemma: commerce versus politics, writes Michael Hoffman, as he sorts through coverage of Sino-Japanese tensions for Big in Japan.
The White House’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific said this month that the U.S. expects Japan to work with it in bolstering deterrence to ensure peace across the Taiwan Strait. But commentator Yoichi Funabashi counsels that Tokyo must prepare for the possibility of a Taiwan emergency — albeit discreetly, or risk provoking China into an overreaction.
Blowback from Beijing is sure to accompany the July release of Japan’s annual defense report, which will mention Taiwan for the first time, Kyodo reports. Tokyo also backed calls for Taiwan to attend Monday’s World Health Assembly, which China has blocked.
Meanwhile, clothing makers face a difficult choice on what to do about Xinjiang cotton, which is picked by Uyghurs and others under conditions rights groups describe as slave labor.
Nike and H&M have found China’s vast market virtually shut in their faces after they decided to stop using cotton from the region, notes Hoffman.
On Friday, Japanese sportswear firm Mizuno said it would also stop sourcing cotton from the area — although it notably didn’t say why.