US and Japan float a plan to defend Taiwan

While few details are available, Japan’s Kyodo news service reported that a draft plan had been agreed between the United States and Japan in case of a Taiwan emergency.

The draft operational plan was initially proposed by the US Pacific Command (PACOM) and the plan itself was worked out by Japan’s Self Defense Force and the US Marines. The term “emergency” was not defined.

This is the first report of any actual joint planning effort between the US and Japan focused on potential Chinese attacks on Taiwan. While the US has carried out a number of exercises recently with Japan, such as Exercise Resolute Dragon, and with others (but not Taiwan), these exercises were not based on a common operational command.

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