0106: U.S.-Japan Joint Military Operation Plan for “Taiwan Emergency,” Tsai’s 2022 New Year’s Address

U.S. and Japan Draft Joint Military Operation Plan for “Taiwan Emergency”: Report

U.S. and Japanese armed forces have drafted a contingency plan for a joint operation in the event of a “Taiwan emergency,” a leading Japanese news agency has reported, amid increased tensions between Taiwan and China.

Under the plan, the U.S. Marine Corps would set up a temporary base somewhere in the Nansei island chain (which stretches southwest toward Taiwan from Japan’s prefectures of Kagoshima and Okinawa) during the initial stages of a Taiwan emergency, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed Japanese government sources. Okinawa hosts the bulk of U.S. military installations in Japan.

However, such a scenario would require Japan to determine there is a threat to the country’s “peace and security” if left unchecked, according to the report.

If a temporary base is established, U.S. Marines would deploy High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces would offer logistical support, including supplies of ammunition and fuel, the sources said.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi would not confirm or deny the plan’s existence to reporters. However, he said if a contingency plan were drafted, it would operate under agreement made in the Japan-U.S. joint committee.

In last October, Japan’s government signaled a more assertive position on China’s aggressive posture towards Taiwan, suggesting it would consider options and prepare for “various scenarios,” while reaffirming close U.S. ties. In last December, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said Japan and the U.S. could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan.

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, have long said that given the tens of thousands of troops the U.S. has in Japan and its proximity to Taiwan, Japan would likely have to play a crucial role in any Taiwan emergency.

[1] Kyodo News: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/12/f5ed60ab6502-japan-us-draft-operation-plan-for-taiwan-contingency-sources.html
[2] Stars and Stripes: https://www.stripes.com/theaters/asia_pacific/2021-12-27/taiwan-china-conflict-contingency-plan-us-japan-4097102.html
[3] The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/24/us-and-japan-draw-up-joint-military-plan-in-case-of-taiwan-emergency-report

Tsai Calls on China to Renounce Use of Force against Taiwan in New Year Address, and Makes No Mention of “ROC,” Only “Taiwan”

On January 1, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called on China to renounce the use of force against Taiwan, and made no mention of Taiwan’s “official name,” the “Republic of China” (ROC), for the first time in her New Year’s address, instead only referring to her country as “Taiwan.”

Since taking office in 2016, President Tsai has delivered a total of four New Year’s Day speeches. Each year, the number of times and ways she mentioned ROC drawn attention from the public and media.

For example, in 2019, she said, “I am calling on China that it must face the reality of the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan).” In 2020, she mentioned “Republic of China” six times during her New Year’s talk.

Nonetheless, President Tsai did not mention “Republic of China” once during her 2022 New Year’s Day address. Instead, she called on “authoritarian China” to stop its military and diplomatic coercion against Taiwan as such actions are detrimental to maintaining regional peace and stability.

Moreover, Tsai reaffirmed that Taiwan will not bow to Chinese pressure while urging Beijing not to misjudge the situation nor allow itself to be taken hostage by the expansion of “military adventurism.” “The use of military means is absolutely not an option for resolving the differences between our two sides,” she stressed.

She also mentioned that the referendum results in last December show Taiwan’s resolution in opening to the world as well as its hope of deepening trade ties with the United States and paving the way for the possible signing of a bilateral free trade agreement.

Taiwan will also continue to rally support among members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to bolster its bid to join the regional economic bloc, she added.

[1] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4396350
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202201010002
[3] Full Text of Tsai’s 2022 New Year’s Address: https://english.president.gov.tw/NEWS/6209