Tokyo, Japan – The Japanese government has injected itself into the increasingly tense confrontation in the Taiwan Straits.
Last Friday, Japan sent Taiwan 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 jab, after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen accused China of blocking the territory’s access to vaccines amid its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began.
Beijing regards Taiwan – a self-governing island that lies 161km (100 miles) off the Chinese coast – as part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goal. It has taken an increasingly assertive stance since Tsai was first elected in 2016, claiming that she wants independence for the island’s 23.6 million people, and tensions have risen as traditional allies, including the United States, rallied to support Taiwan.
Japan has for decades taken a quieter approach.
But with China’s…