November 18th 2022

On November 18, Taiwan Center for Security Studies (TCSS) and Osaka-based Momoyama Gakuin University (also known as Saint Andrew’s University) jointly held a one-day Japan-Taiwan Security Dialogue in hybrid mode. Under the context of the fourth Taiwan Strait crisis, the policy experts and research scholars from Japan and Taiwan contributed to the theme of the dialogue: “Coping with the Taiwan Strait Crisis: Enhancing Japan and Taiwan Security Coordination.”  Previously, two such dialogues were held and jointly published two books titled “Defense Policy and Strategic Development: Coordination Between Japan and Taiwan” and “Security Turbulence in Asia: Shaping New Strategy in Japan and Taiwan.” 

Director Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu of Taiwan Center for Security Studies and Professor of St. Andrew’s University, Dr. Masahiro Matsumura opened the dialogue with their keynote remarks covering the broader security developments in the region concerning Japan and Taiwan, especially the evolving geopolitical threat factor from China. The theme of the dialogue was categorized into three sub-themes and held in three sessions by engaging seven policy experts from Japan and Taiwan. 

The first session focused on “Japan’s and Taiwan’s evolving approach to the shift of strategic landscape to assess the range of threats posed by China in particular.” Japan’s former Lt. General Sadamasa Oue opined that the “One Country Two Systems” is unlikely to realize due to the democratization of Taiwan. At the same time, the Japan-US security pact will compel the US to respond accordingly, as Japan’s involvement is inevitable in the Taiwan contingency. In addition, according to Dr. Leo Lin, Central Police University, his research indicated that Japan’s policy on Taiwan changed rhetorically but has yet to change operationally.    

In the second session, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies’ Dr. Toshitaka Takeuchi stated that the fourth Taiwan strait crisis and violation of Japan’s EEZ is an intentional warning not to get involved in Taiwan Affairs. Also, it highlighted that a military blockade of Japan’s Nansei islands is inevitable in the Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Dr. Dean Karalekas, editor-at-large of TCSS, addressed the dialogue on the risks for regional security in the absence of Taiwan-Japan mutual defense. 

In the third session, Dr. Masahiro Matsumura further shared his insights on legal perspectives in establishing Japan-Taiwan military relations. He indicated that it is increasingly important to overmatch Beijing in “Three Warfares,” especially legal warfare, given the problematic legal status of Taiwan. On another note, Dr. Hon-Min Yau from National Defense University reflected intelligence sharing as a first step to improving mutual understanding of threat perceptions and assessments between Taiwan and Japan. Further, Taiwan’s Strategic Analyst Dr. Kuo Tzu-Yung highlighted that accurate intelligence sharing is key to survival in war, demonstrated through the US-Ukraine intelligence sharing pact amidst the ongoing Russian aggression.

At the closing session, both hosts agree on the 2023 plan to explore the possibility of publishing a new book to further contribute to Japan-Taiwan relations at times of heightened regional tensions.