pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 07 – No. 02

Defense planners in Beijing are paying close attention to Japan but also convey considerable and growing confidence in China’s ability to manage Japan as a military problem. Japan is seen as increasingly likely to be involved in a dispute over Taiwan, though some in China’s military see Japan’s declaratory policy in this regard as not consistent with its real interests and what they anticipate to be its likely military restraint in crisis and war. Japan is also seen as a significant military factor in China’s maritime security environment – which is the focus of China’s military modernization campaign. On the other hand, there is little to suggest that China is actually developing military capabilities specifically focused on Japan, with the important exception of medium-range ballistic missiles.