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Japan, EU leaders agree to cooperate for free, open Indo-Pacific

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This is all talk and zero substance.

Reuters report has found that Japan refused to help Taiwan in construction of its submarines due to fear of Chinese economic retaliations, the help that Taiwan desperately sought came from Korea and six other nations.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/taiwan-china-submarines/

Tokyo, one of America’s closest allies, has also been reticent to get involved. Japan operates one of the world’s most advanced conventional submarine fleets. The idea of helping Taiwan was informally discussed in Japan but was dropped out of concern over how China might react, according to two senior defense ministry sources in Tokyo.

One reason for Japan’s hesitancy is fear of the economic consequences of offending Beijing, said retired Vice Admiral Yoji Koda, a former fleet commander of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Japanese companies that would stand to lose business in China for helping Taiwan are a powerful lobby, Koda said.

Japan’s defense ministry declined to comment.

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Taipei also succeeded in hiring engineers, technicians and former naval officers from at least five other countries: Australia, South Korea, India, Spain and Canada. Based at a shipyard in the port city of Kaohsiung, the experts have advised the Taiwanese navy and state-backed shipbuilder CSBC Corporation Taiwan, the company building the new submarines.

https://min.news/en/military/b2eab4ab2971330eda81a745454178d3.html

Taiwan media exposed South Korean experts leaking secrets and "assembling submarines", Taiwan military: speculation

"There is no confidentiality," Ma Wenjun accused the Taiwan military of using submarines and their combat-related "red zone" as an excuse to obstruct Taiwanese regulators; but in the Korean barbecue restaurant near the Kaohsiung Art Museum, Some Koreans talked a lot about drawing, steel, welding and other work related to submarine construction. Ma Wenjun emphasized, "Today you asked us to sign a non-disclosure agreement is a big joke," and asked the Taiwan military to investigate Koreans whose name is "Cui Xuanzhi".

There was a big scandal in Taiwan earlier this year when a KMT legislator revealed the location of restaurant in Kaohsiung where the Korean team working on the hull design and fabrication of Taiwan's submarine was frequently dining. This is when it was disclosed that Korea was the primary engineering and fabrication consultant of Taiwan's submarine project, a job Japan refused to do due to fear of China.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

North Korea, China and Russia . . . What do they all have in common?

They're all dictatorships.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

China working to "close down" the Indo-Pacific to the world while like minded democracies work to keep it free and open to all. Says it all.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It would be more constructive if Xi also agreed. But of course he thinks it's all Chinese territory.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

North Korea, China and Russia . . . What do they all have in common?

They're all dictatorships.

Thank you Captain Obvious !

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No more fighting, help each other.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Taipei also succeeded in hiring engineers, technicians and former naval officers from at least five other countries: Australia, South Korea, India, Spain and Canada.

Maybe it is just me but something about that list of nations strikes me as disinformation. India never really built a wholly indigenous designed DE boat on their own. They have either bought Soviet/Russian made subs or more recently hired the French to teach them how to build subs. Now they are able to advise Taiwan? Likewise Spain leans heavily on the French (and before that Italy) for their submarine designs. They haven't built a sub without outside help since before WWII. Canada has never built a sub of it's own. It operates former RN boats, the Upholders and before that Oberons, and they have had their share of problems keeping their boats at sea. Only South Korea among the nations mentioned has its own in house designs implying they have the necessary engineering talent in house. The nations making modern DE boats entirely in house today are Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, Russia and China. Everyone else either buys from one of them or builds one of their designs with a lot of hand holding by the company that designed the boat.

Early in the Taiwanese submarine program there was much talk of Japanese participation. Then all of a sudden the Japanese were supposedly not involved, these other nations are. And the list seems to get longer with every new article. Eh, I am betting this laundry list of nations and the Admiral's statement is a diplomatic smoke screen to hide Japanese participation in the program. It is more believable to me that it is Japanese and South Koreans who are helping the Taiwanese (with a design that more closely resembles an old US Barbel or the Dutch boats the Taiwanese have than any modern Japanese or South Korean boat). And obtw, doesn't South Korea have as much and probably more to lose in terms of Chinese retaliation for helping Taiwan build submarines? All we hear about is how the South Koreans lick China's boots and refuse to be part of the Quad for fear of angering Baby Ping Ping. Their trade with China would be cut off. Yet they are willing to take a big risk to help Taiwan build a submarine? Oh sure. That is why I think the story line is just that, a sea story.

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@Desert Tortoise

 I am betting this laundry list of nations and the Admiral's statement is a diplomatic smoke screen to hide Japanese participation in the program.

No, Japan really really refused to participate due to the fear of Chinese economic retaliations.

doesn't South Korea have as much and probably more to lose in terms of Chinese retaliation for helping Taiwan build submarines? 

Korea has grown immune to Chinese economic retaliations, like how it proved to be immune to Abe san's economic retaliations.

All we hear about is how the South Koreans lick China's boots and refuse to be part of the Quad for fear of angering Baby Ping Ping. 

That's a fake Japanese propaganda spread internationally to make look Korea bad.

In reality, it is Korea that's helping out Taiwan build its weapons and most importantly, train Taiwanese cadets in its military academy in secret. China has long complained about Korea training Taiwanese cadets and demanded Koreans to stop, but Korea refused.

With Japan, it's the reverse and while Japan talks of helping Taiwan and countering China in Southeast Asia, in reality Japan assures China it will not only not help Taiwan build its defensive capability, but also prohibit the US from using Okinawan bases for launching intervention during the PLA invasion of China.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Sorry, I meant to say "PLA invasion of Taiwan."

But it is true, Japan has not granted the US the permission to use Okinawan bases during Taiwan contingency to date, and Japanese plan is to drag it out the debate at the Diet so that the PLA can conquer Taiwan before a vote could be reached and not have to grant the permission, because doing so means Japan becomes an official enemy combatant against China during China-Taiwan war, and Chinese ballistic missile strikes on Tokyo becomes legal.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and European Council President Charles Michel both are against giving diplomatic recognition to democratic Taiwan.

So this talk about countering China is just a charade.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

But it is true, Japan has not granted the US the permission to use Okinawan bases during Taiwan contingency to date, and Japanese plan is to drag it out the debate at the Diet so that the PLA can conquer Taiwan before a vote could be reached and not have to grant the permission, because doing so means Japan becomes an official enemy combatant against China during China-Taiwan war, and Chinese ballistic missile strikes on Tokyo becomes legal.

First I dispute you know one way or the other how Japanese leadership would respond. Second, were Japan to do that it would be the end of he US/Japan alliance and Japan would be left to fend for itself. Considering that a PLA attack on Taiwan would represent a dire existential threat to Japan, particularly Okinawa, I think Japan would not just allow the US to use Japanese bases to defend Taiwan but would actively participate in its defense. If Japan sat it out and Taiwan was taken, Okinawa would be next and everybody who matters knows that to be true.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

most importantly, train Taiwanese cadets in its military academy in secret.

So you know military secrets too? Sure thing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

Second, were Japan to do that it would be the end of he US/Japan alliance and Japan would be left to fend for itself.

And Tokyo gets bombarded wit hundreds of Chinese missiles, and it's all legal because Japan's has decided to be an active combatant.

Considering that a PLA attack on Taiwan would represent a dire existential threat to Japan, particularly Okinawa

It does not. Japan becoming the enemy combatant of China is by letting US launch military interventions from Okinawa is.

I think Japan would not just allow the US to use Japanese bases to defend Taiwan

And Tokyo gets bombarded with hundreds of Chinese missiles.

but would actively participate in its defense.

Suga already declared Japan would not intervene.  

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3130423/japan-troops-wont-get-involved-if-china-invades-taiwan-pm

Japan troops won’t get involved if China invades Taiwan, PM Yoshihide Suga says

,

If Japan sat it out and Taiwan was taken, Okinawa would be next

Okinawa and Taiwan have nothing to do with each other. China doesn't claim Okinawa. Yes, China would love to seek Okinawan independence, but not take Okinawa itself.

Diaoyu Islands and Okinawa are two totally separate things as well because Diaoyu Islands are periphery islands of Taiwan, not Okinawa. And of course China would seek to recover Diaoyu Islands and this is entirely legal per the terms of Japan's surrender. 

Anyhow, here is some good reading on the Japanese consent situation. The fact is that 1. US currently doesn't have Japanese prior consent. 2 US must obtain Japanese consent before launching intervention from Okinawa. 3. China threatens to declare Japan an enemy combatant if Japan granted that consent. 4. Japan is weak to Chinese blackmailing, as this Japan's refusal to lend submarine assistance to Taiwan shows.

https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/05/what-the-united-states-wants-from-japan-in-taiwan.html

At a minimum, the United States would require access to its bases in Japan, from which it would execute combat operations in, over, and around Taiwan. Per a 1960 exchange of notes between then–Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi and then–U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter regarding implementation of their bilateral security treaty, the United States agreed to engage in “prior consultation” with Japan if it wants to use its facilities and areas as bases for combat operations. These engagements would be undertaken from Japan except for defense of Japanese operations.

A situation where the United States wants to defend Taiwan but Japan has not yet been attacked could fit the parameters Kishi and Herter set out, requiring the allies to engage in “prior consultation” where the United States would clarify its intention to use its bases. Without Japanese acquiescence, the United States would face operational challenges if forced to execute operations from afar or find other countries from which to base its operations—a difficult proposition. Relatedly, the United States would find itself seriously disadvantaged if Japan opposed U.S. forces from accessing Japanese bases and ports (both Japan's Self-Defense Forces and civilian forces) as alternatives, should they be needed.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Samit, if the Chinese looked like they were about to invade Taiwan those consultations would happen and be concluded faster than you imagine. Even if you do not realize the threat to Japan and especially Okinawa from an invasion of Taiwan the Japanese do. If Taiwan is taken, Okinawa and Japan are next. China will not be satisfied until they think they have punished Japan for WWII. You shill for China here all the time but I have family there and know how they think. I hear it from my wife constantly.

In 2013 South Korean forces taking part in a UN mission to South Sudan were pinned down by rebel forces and running out of ammunition. The only other member of that UN mission that had the same caliber ammo was the JGSDF, who were performing a non-combat task for the UN in the same mission. The Japanese cabinet very quickly decided to resupply the South Koreans and a mission was mounted by the JGSDF to do so. It was very controversial since it required Japanese troops to enter a hot combat zone, but Japan acted quickly so the South Korean forces would not be overwhelmed. The mission was a success and the rebel forces pushed back. The event demonstrated the Japanese cabinet can act quickly in an emergency.

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