Japan’s Evolving Stance on cross‐Strait Relations: Policy Shifts or Attitude Shifts?
- For the first time in over 50 years, the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait was raised in the 2021 Japan-U.S. Joint Leaders’ Statement. Not only did Tokyo’s increasingly assertive posture on the Taiwan issue attract domestic and international attention, but it was also interpreted as Tokyo shifting its policies on Taiwan. Tokyo’s perceived policy shifts could incur potential retaliation from Beijing and result in unfavorable outcomes due to Tokyo’s enormous economic, geographic, and political interests in China. Therefore, it is important to understand the intentions behind the perceived shifts. This thesis assesses the recent turns in Tokyo’s stances on Taiwan by reviewing the significant events among Japan, China, and Taiwan and analyzing the Diet debates on the Taiwan issue. This analysis of Tokyo’s stances on Taiwan since 1972 reveals no change in Tokyo’s fundamental policies; Tokyo continues to adhere to “One China” and maintains only unofficial ties with Taipei. However, the analysis does reveal shifts in attitudes toward Taiwan. Today’s assertive posture is rooted in Tokyo’s attitude shift after the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1995-1996, when Tokyo began linking its own national security with peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Tokyo’s increasing assertiveness is proportional to China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan. Tokyo’s posture reflects its goal to defend its national security by promoting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait without purposefully opposing Beijing. This thesis predicts Tokyo will continue to increase its voice on the Taiwan issue as long as tension exists across the Strait but will not change its fundamental policies.
|Type of resource
|June 2, 2022
|December 5, 2022
|June 3, 2022
|Degree granting institution
|Stanford University, Stanford Global Studies, Center for East Asian Studies
|Stanford Global Studies, East Asian Studies, Japan, China, Taiwan, International Policy
- Use and reproduction
- User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC).
- Preferred citation
- Saito, M., Stanford University, Stanford Global Studies, Center for East Asian Studies, and Miller, A. (2025). Japan’s Evolving Stance on cross‐Strait Relations: Policy Shifts or Attitude Shifts?. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at https://purl.stanford.edu/nj161wk9498
Stanford Center for East Asian Studies Thesis CollectionView other items in this collection in SearchWorks
Also listed in
Loading usage metrics...