In their communique last week, top diplomats from the G7 nations singled out China in a number of ways likely to irritate Beijing, from human-rights abuses to Taiwan and incursions in cyberspace.
But as Kuni Miyake notes, there was a lot more to the 12,000-word communique — the first since to be released after such a meeting since 2017 — than China. One takeaway: G7 summit diplomacy is back.
The inclusion of Taiwan was notable, as was its absence in Japan’s annual diplomatic report released last month, which somehow managed to emphasize concerns over China’s military expansion and maritime activities without mentioning the island.
Despite the no-show, sources say Japan is studying possible responses by the Self-Defense Forces in the event of a U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan, taking into account the strict confines of the country’s national security laws.
Japan has also been moving quietly but rapidly to strengthen its capability to defend the southwestern Nansei islands — which span isles off Kagoshima, as well as Okinawa and the Senkakus — amid China’s growing pressure on nearby Taiwan.
Recently declassified U.S. documents show that Japan tried to convince Washington to recognize Tokyo’s sovereignty over the Senkakus, which are also claimed by China, in the 1970s, but Washington remains impartial on that issue to this day.