Taiwan’s inclusion in a military simulation held on July 15 and 16 by the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies (JFSS) in Tokyo has significant implications for the nation’s role in regional security frameworks, retired air force lieutenant general Lee Ting-sheng (李廷盛) said on Tuesday.
The tabletop war game simulating a full-scale Chinese invasion of Taiwan featured the participation of analysts and retired high-ranking general officers from Taiwan, Japan and the US, said Lee, a participant and the deputy CEO of Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR).
Last month’s event ended in a stalemate between the coalition of Taiwan, Japan and the US and attacking Chinese forces, which was the latest in a series of JFFS simulations rehearsing a war in the Taiwan Strait.
Being the most recent in a series of similar JFFS simulations, the event was also the first in the think tank’s history to include Taiwanese players.
The presence of Taiwanese experts and former officers — a first in the JFSS war game — has marked the nation’s entrance to the international arena, Lee said, adding that diplomatic personnel from Australia, Finland, Lithuania and the UK were present to observe the event.
Influence in Japan
Conclusions drawn from the war game would likely be worked into Tokyo’s policymaking, as a shuffle of the Japanese cabinet is expected in the second half of the year, he said.
Japanese House of Representatives member Itsunori Onodera and Kevin Maher, former director of the US Department of State’s Office of Japan Affairs, role-played the Japanese prime minister in the simulation, while Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) of Taipei-based Prospect Foundation role-played the Taiwanese president.
Eight retired general officers who served in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces took part in the simulation, exchanging views on the region’s strategic and economic situation with their Taiwanese counterparts, Lee said.
The potential for two nations’ distinct decision-making processes to cause coordination issues was highlighted in the exercise, INDSR assistant research fellow Yang Chang-jong (楊長蓉) said.
In addition, Taiwanese participants suggested their country could adopt the Japanese practice of incorporating international law considerations into strategic-level simulations, she said.
In the simulation, the Japanese government’s response to the conflict was calibrated by the legal requirements of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security with regard to authorizing the use of US bases in Japan by Taiwan, she said.
The awareness of the roles the treaties could play in Tokyo’s military strategy was an important lesson, Yang said.
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