The US should make clear that it would protect Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China, Japan’s former prime minister has warned.
Abe’s remarks came as political leaders expressed concern that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could disrupt global order, including in Asia.
“The US takes a strategy of ambiguity, meaning it may or may not intervene militarily if Taiwan is attacked,” said Abe. He added that the possibility of intervention keeps China in check, while preventing forces for Taiwanese independence from running out of control.
“It is time to abandon this ambiguity strategy. The people of Taiwan share our universal values,” he said.
Abe stepped down in 2020 but remains a powerful behind-the-scenes figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic party. In December, Abe said that a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be an emergency for Japan.
Abe on Sunday also stressed the need for Japan to enhance its defence capabilities, instead of being dependent on the US if it is attacked, saying that the country “should learn a lesson from the [Ukraine incident].”
Abe pointed out that NATO members including Belgium and Germany were jointly hosting US nuclear weapons. Japan, meanwhile, has to maintain its goal of abolishing nuclear weapons as the only country that has ever been subjected to atomic bombings, he added.