Japan Following China's Taiwan Drills With 'Great Interest'

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By Satoshi Sugyama and Ben Blanchard

TOKYO/TAIPEI - Japan has been closely following China's military drills in Taiwan, a top government spokesperson stated Monday. This was the last day of the exercises in which Beijing attempted to strike the island.

China announced the three-day drills after Taiwan's President TsaiIng-wen returned home to Taipei from a meeting with Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives.

China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under Beijing's control.

Japan is concerned about China's military activities within the region, given its proximity to Taiwan's southern islands.

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Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, stated that peace and stability in Taiwan Strait are important not only for the security of Japan but also for stability within the international community.

Okinawa, a southern Japanese island, is home to a large U.S. military base. In August last year, China staged war games in protest of Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei.

The United States stated that it was also closely monitoring China's drills.

In the second day's drills, China's military attempted precision strikes against Taiwan on Sunday.

The People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command released Monday's video via WeChat. It showed a H-6 bomber capable of nuclear attack flying in the skies to the north Taiwan.

Unidentified voice claims that the missiles are in good shape. The video also shows images from the cockpit.

Another voice said, "Start fire control radar, lock the target," and showed images of a missile underneath the aircraft's wings.

The pilot is seen preparing the fire control button for a simulation attack and pressing the button. However, it didn't show any missiles being fired.

Taiwan's military is currently sending warships to China and has sent fighters to Taiwan. However, the military said that it would respond calmly and not cause conflict.

Monday morning saw the release of a map showing the Chinese air force activities over the past 24 hours. It showed fighters crossing the Taiwan Strait's sensitive median line, as well as four carrier-based Chinese J-15 fighters flying over the Pacific Ocean to Taiwan’s east.

Although the ministry didn't provide any details, Taiwan stated last week that it was following the Shandong Chinese carrier to its east.

Separately, the ministry released Monday photos of mobile launchers for Taiwan's Hsiung Feng antiship missiles at an undisclosed spot as well as missile-armed fast attacking boats at sea.