After PM Suga’s resignation, Japan’s internal LDP elections have now placed the cautiously pro-Taiwanese Fumio Kishida at the head of the country. He is in favor of increased Japanese cooperation with Taiwan, and aims to have Japan join the five-eyes intelligence sharing community. In line with other recent LDP comments regarding Taiwan, including directly linking the security of the two, and the statement that Japan would have to defend Taiwan in a regional war, Kishida also expressed concern about China’s authoritarian attitudes, which drew the ire of China’s foreign ministry.

Kishida said, “Taiwan is at the frontline of the stand-off between the US and China… Looking at the situation with Hong Kong and the Uighurs, I have a strong feeling that the Taiwan Strait will be the next big problem.”

The Philippines is also preparing for its presidential next year after Rodrigo Duterte finishes his single and only term. Famous for his combative approach, including his praise of China despite their rejection of the Hague’s ruling granting much of the “South China Sea” areas of the Southwest Pacific to the Philippines, and public arguments with the US at the expense of the Philippines security relationship, Rodrigo Duterte has made clear that he would prefer to keep power, despite constitutional limits, by either running as a vice-presidential candidate, elected separately, or having his daughter, Sara Duterte compete. Polling has placed her ahead of even famous martial artist Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao has recently turned critical of the incumbent government in their handling of the COVID response, and increasingly regarding Duterte’s approach to dealing with Chinese expansionism in the Southwest Pacific, which he has labelled as “weak.”

He added, “I am a Filipino voicing out what needs to be said in defense of what has been adjudicated as rightfully ours.”

South Korea, another single-term presidency state, also has election scheduled in about five months. North Korea’s overtures over the last week about ending the active state of war between the two might be an attempt to favor the pro-rapprochement aims within South Korean society.


Staff writer: Ari B,in%20a%20geopolitical%20hotspot%3A%20the%20South%20China%20Sea.