More than 90 percent of Japanese believe Japan should prepare for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a Nikkei poll released on Monday found.
On how to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan, 41 percent of respondents said Japan should improve its capability of responding to a conflict in Taiwan by revising its laws, while 50 percent said the country should prepare within the existing legal framework and 4 percent said preparations are not needed.
In addition, 56 percent of respondents approved of a proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party-led government to increase the defense budget to 1 percent of Japan’s GDP, while 31 percent disapproved, marking little change from a poll last month.
About 60 percent of respondents agreed with preserving a military capability to strike back at an enemy — twice as many as the 30 percent who opposed the notion.
Under current Japanese law, Japan may exercise the right to self-defense if it or a close ally, such as the US, came under military attack.
However, Tokyo lacks the legal authority to build up stockpiles or render other military assistance to its allies unless the emergency is formally recognized, Yoji Koda, former commander-in-chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Fleet, was cited as saying.
Russia amassed forces near the borders of Ukraine before invading, which suggests a similar military buildup would precede a military invasion of Taiwan, he said.
That Japan “has no law that allows the US military to temporarily stockpile huge amounts of fuel and ammunition during normal times” might impede Japan’s ability to provide logistical support for US operations throughout the Indo-Pacific region, he added.
The poll, conducted by Nikkei Research from Friday through Sunday by telephone among Japanese men and women aged 18 or older, drew 935 valid samples and had a response rate of 41.4 percent.
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