GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON #195
A joint US/Japan Statement following Biden/Suga talks in Washington fell far short of the US hoped-for anti-China condemnation. The Statement restricted itself to bland expressions of “the importance of peace + stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Biden pressed Suga for stronger anti-China words but Suga would not allow it.
Why? because Japan recognises there are clear limits to how far it can go in any joint US/Japan anti-China reference. And this as Biden focuses more on “protecting Taiwan” whilst China asserts its right to make more frequent incursions into Taiwan’s air space.
China is too important to Japan to allow Japan to join the US hoped for an anti-China alliance. Japan does not want to provoke China hence no reference to “defending Taiwan” despite China’s more assertive calls for reunification.
China accounts for approx 20% of Japanese exports. The two economies are increasingly linked. China matters to Japan + Japan cannot now fall into line with the US attempts to de-couple its economy from China.