July 18, 2023
TOKYO – The Japan Forum for Strategic Studies held a war game in Tokyo spanning two days to examine the challenges the Japanese government might face in response to a supposed invasion of Taiwan by China.
This was the third such simulation hosted by the think tank this year. The Saturday through Sunday session was attended by Liberal Democratic Party Diet members and former members of the Self-Defense Forces. Members from a research institution in Taiwan also joined for the first time.
The war game assumed a crisis in Taiwan in 2027 developing into a Japan contingency, with discussions held in the format of a National Security Council meeting of nine ministers. For a situation where China launched a missile attack on Japan, the potential use of counterattack capabilities based on the National Security Strategy was considered.
The simulation imagined the decision-making process being delayed, however, due to the United States showing reservations about launching an attack on mainland China. The war game also examined ways to use strategic communications to gather favorable global opinion and how to deal with cyber-attacks.
Former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera played the role of prime minister in the simulation. Meeting the media afterward, he stressed, “Preparation is important to prevent conflict.”