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Former Japan PM says allies must force China to relinquish Taiwan invasion plans

Abe stresses importance of boosting Japan's military spending, building regional deterrence against China

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Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. 

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan, the U.S., and other allies must create a situation that forces China to give up seizing Taiwan by force, former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said on Sunday (June 5).

Speaking at the 13th Axios Outlook Symposium, Abe said whether it is Japan-U.S., Japan-U.S.-Taiwan, or the Japan-U.S.-Australia-India Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), the relationships among like-minded countries should be strengthened.

He said it is important to create a situation in which China will relinquish its goal of militarily taking over Taiwan. Thus, it is necessary for regional allies to build up the capacity to defend or deter China from attacking Taiwan, and demonstrate the will to do so, he said.

The former prime minister pointed out that it is necessary for Japan to strengthen its defense and increase deterrence, with the Japan-U.S. alliance at the core.

With regard to Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s (習近平) desire for unification with Taiwan, Abe said: "We must not underestimate their efforts. Any infringement on Taiwan is an infringement on Japan.”

Abe reiterated that Japan's defense spending should be at least 2% of its GDP. He said it is necessary for each country to take on its military responsibilities according to its own economic capacity.

No country will put its own citizens at risk for another country that is unwilling to defend itself, he said. Asia and the Indo-Pacific region will face substantial problems in the future, so Japan should clearly state its plan of action, he added.