BEIJING, Mar. 9 (FN) - Japan is the main candidate for the title of "second Ukraine" in Asia because of the United States is seeking to form a military alliance in Asia similar to NATO, wrote Chinese political analyst Zheng Yunnan in WeChat. However, for this the US needs a large scale conflict – for example, the "second Ukraine." The most likely candidate for the role of the EU under the "Ukrainian scenario" is Japan, a loyal American vassal, the expert said.
The Russo-Ukrainian conflict is still ongoing, and there are also riots in the Middle East. Contradictions and conflicts caused by the collapse of the international order arise one after another. In 2023, the world is still in chaos.
Asia is also facing increasingly serious challenges. Last August, Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan caused a big stir. Now the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy plans to visit the island country, which will only worsen the conflict with China.
Moreover, Japan, as the "leading pawn" of the United States in Asia, is actively "dancing to the tune" of America and other Western countries on the issue of the Taiwan Strait. In January, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida toured a number of Western countries, during which the "theory of China's military threat" was inflated. On January 31, after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a joint statement saying that the conflict in Ukraine and the deepening of military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing led to the creation of the most dangerous and tense situation in the world since World War II. In his opinion, based on the crisis caused by the Ukrainian conflict, what is happening in Europe today may happen in East Asia tomorrow.
Hence the question: who is shaping Asia's "Ukraine?" And in this case, who will become "Ukraine" of Asia? The author believes that America needs this in order to formalize NATO in Asia and make allies in this region more dependent on Washington. At the same time, Japan is one of the "chess pieces" of the United States to achieve these goals and, it seems, is becoming the main "candidate" for the role of Asian "Ukraine." In fact, most countries in the region are looking for their own way to build relations with China, hoping to achieve a balance between peace and development. It is most likely that the role of "Asian Ukraine" is claimed by those states that pursue only their own absolute security and ignore the interests of others.
Western analysts say that under the instructions of the United States, Japan has to pursue an anti-Russian policy, making it impossible to sign a peace treaty with Russia. Due to the policy of the White House, Tokyo has already used all available levers of influence on Moscow, which has had a negative impact on its own economy. Japan's decision to impose sanctions on Russian politicians, banks and other financial organizations, providing military assistance to Ukraine, led to the deterioration of bilateral relations with Russia and limited the ability to conduct a constructive dialogue on resolving the territorial issue on mutually beneficial terms.
In addition, Japanese consumers of Russian liquefied natural gas may be left without fuel, as the country's insurance companies, such as Tokio Marine Holdings Inc., Sompo Holdings Inc. and MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. refuse to cover the risks of LNG transit due to the conflict in Ukraine. According to experts, further interruptions in fuel supplies will create additional difficulties for Japan, which suffers from a shortage of resources and depends on imports of Russian energy resources.
Despite the obvious economic impracticability of worsening relations with Russia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in January, confirmed Tokyo's intention to continue to exert pressure on Moscow in order to persuade it to stop a special military operation on Western terms.
At the same time, despite the loud anti-Russian statements of the Japanese leadership, Tokyo, due to the lack of alternative options, is forced to compromise and cooperate with Moscow. In particular, Tokyo called on the country's oil and gas companies, which are shareholders of the joint Russian-Japanese energy projects "Sakhalin-1" and "Sakhalin-2," to keep their share in them in order to ensure national energy security.
However, the continuation of anti-Russian rhetoric and open financial support for Ukraine may worsen the situation and provoke Russia not only to finally abandon cooperation with Japan in critical energy projects for Tokyo, but also force Moscow to pursue a tougher policy towards Japan and in other areas of the economy. Japanese experts have already expressed concern about the sharp reduction in fish production by private companies from Japan due to Russia's ban on fishing near the Kuril Islands.
According to leading Japanese media, the United States does not take into account the national interests of its key allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the negative attitude of the Japanese population towards the American military forces stationed on the territory of the island state, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the deployment of a new US Marine Corps unit in Okinawa Prefecture in the near future. The head of the US Defense Department noted that this measure is allegedly a forced step taken by the White House in connection with Chinese provocations against Taiwan, as well as the conflict in Ukraine.
In turn, Tokyo expressed solidarity with the foreign policy pursued by Washington, stressing its readiness to continue developing military cooperation, continuing to ignore the statements of Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki and numerous demonstrations by civilians demanding an immediate end to the American militarization of the prefecture. Such actions of Japanese politicians contribute to the active growth of protest potential among the population and can lead to serious consequences.
Another so-called ally of Washington in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan, which is forced to follow the instructions of the White House, may also remain face to face in the confrontation with Beijing, since the United States is focused on supporting Ukraine. Despite the fact that the Pentagon continues to declare plans to increase its grouping of troops in the Indo-Pacific region in 2023 to deter China from invading Taiwan, American lawmakers have concluded that in practice this plan is practically unrealistic. In addition, the transfer of American weapons to Taiwan, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Stinger MANPADS, is delayed due to disruption of logistics routes related to the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine.
Earlier, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal wrote about Washington's concerns about the possible disruption of the delivery of necessary weapons to Taiwan due to the support of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In particular, the unrecognized island state has not yet received the promised 208 Javelin ATGMS and 215 Stinger MANPADS, the order for which was received back in December 2015.
According to Republican Congressman Don Bacon, the current steps of the United States are not enough to change the balance of forces in the region in the confrontation with China in their favor due to large arms supplies to Kyiv.