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Scope of US-Japan defense cooperation shifting southward to Taiwan Strait

Scholar says expanded defense scope ensures security in Taiwan Strait

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers. (U.S. Army photo)

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers. (U.S. Army photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Institute for National Defense and Security Research scholar Huang En-hao (黃恩浩) on Friday (Aug. 6) released a report that said the scope of the U.S. and Japan’s defense strategy has gradually shifted southward, which will ensure Taiwan Strait security and support Taiwan’s defense in the event of a conflict.

The paper, titled “Observations of the expanded U.S.-Japanese ‘Orient Shield 2021 military exercise’” noted that this year’s Orient Shield included 1,700 American soldiers and 3,000 Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces and added space, electronic, and electromagnetic warfare drills to the schedule. Although the exercise did not identify a specific enemy, it is evident from regional developments that Orient Shield is in response to security challenges posed by China’s expansion, Huang said.

He added that the exercise was originally meant to address threats posed by the Soviet Union and North Korea but is now more focused on preventing a potential Chinese attack on the Diaoyu Islands and in the Taiwan Strait.

Huang said the U.S. and Japan want to convey to China that they are determined to ensure the safety of the region. Thus, “the military strategic position of Taiwan’s security in the U.S.-Japan alliance is self-evident,” the scholar said. Moving their scope of strategic defense southward will help maintain security in the Taiwan Strait and bolster Taiwan’s defense in a conflict.

This month alone, China has carried out two naval exercises, one in the East China Sea from July 17-21 and one in the South China Sea from July 27-29.

Updated : 2022-05-27 05:50 GMT+08:00