By claiming that "A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance," former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has openly revealed his outdated mindset and the militarism that is deeply ingrained in his psyche.
If Japan was to heed such wild talk it would sacrifice its future for the futile cause of separatists on the island. Citing Japan's alliance with the United States shows Abe knows Japan is powerless to act on its own.
His remarks immediately drew a strong reaction from the Chinese side: Not only did the Chinese Foreign Ministry lodge a stern representation to the Japanese side, it also summoned Japan's ambassador to China on Wednesday evening.
In her meeting with Japanese Ambassador Shui Hideo, Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying called Abe's remarks "erroneous" and a violation of basic norms of relations between China and Japan as they have "openly challenged China's sovereignty and given brazen support to Taiwan independence forces".
In fact, Abe's remarks continue the incessant attempts by anti-China forces to interfere in China's internal affairs.
He was right in predicting that it would be a crisis for Japan if it tried to thwart China's reunification bid and for its alliance with the United States, which will not welcome being dragged into a conflict by armchair warriors in Japan.
Pretending to be unaware that the climate between the US and China has changed for the better after a video summit between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden last month, Abe is still indulging in the dream that Japan can profit from geopolitical competition between the two big countries and that he is still relevant on the world stage.
But Biden made it clear in his talk with Xi that the US has no intention of getting into a conflict with China nor does it support "Taiwan independence".
As a diehard right-winger, Abe vigorously pushed for constitutional changes which would have given Japan's Self-Defense Forces a greater role both in the country's periphery and overseas when he served as Japan's prime minister. But his attempts to revive the ghost of Japan's military past encountered strong condemnation both at home and abroad. Long gone are the days when Japanese militarists could colonize and bully China.
Considering that Japan is already at odds with China over the East China Sea issue, a war with China over Taiwan, as presented by Abe, would only lead the country down a self-destructive path. And he was wrong in suggesting that it would be an emergency, as that is something which happens unexpectedly. Beijing has repeatedly made clear the consequences of emboldening the island's secessionists to cross the redline.
It is high time Abe and other right-wingers in Japan laid their militarist dreams to rest.