In 1996, Japan and the US issued the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and started to amend the Defense Cooperation Guidelines worked out in 1978. In September 1997, the new defense guidelines were formally defined. On May 24, 1999, the Japanese Diet reviewed and approved the bills related to the new Guidelines, which meant a new system of the reinforcement of the security cooperation between Japan and the US. The focal point of our concern is that, first of all, it involves the issue of Taiwan; secondly, what is the future orientation of Japanese military. Chinese government has so far expressed serious concern and relative positions on the issue through various channels.
In July 1999, Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi, during his visit to China, reaffirmed and noted that US-Japan security cooperation system was completely for the purpose of defense, not targeting at any specific country or region. The bills related to the Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines would not go beyond the objectives and scope of US-Japan Security Cooperation Treaty. The bills said clearly that the activities of the Self-Defense Force should be approved by Japanese Diet. The Self-Defense Force should restrain from using force or threatening to use force abroad. As to whether “the situation in the areas surrounding Japan” and what measures should be taken, Japan would make judgment by itself out of the consideration of ensuring its own national interests. At the same time, Japan believed that a friendly relationship with China would be of important interests to Japan. With the introspection of the past, Japan would take the road of a peaceful country under the peaceful situation. Japan would adhere to the Policy of Defense Limited to Its Own Territory and Coastal Water and abide by the Three Principles of Non-Nuclearization, and insist on the policy of not seeking for a military power. The Chinese side emphasized that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of China. Any action of including Taiwan into the scope of US-Japan security cooperation, either directly or indirectly, will be strongly opposed and unacceptable to the Chinese government and people. The Japanese side should take concrete actions in honoring its solemn commitments so far it had made and dispel, in a convincing manners, the doubts and worries on the orientation of the Japanese military from the neighboring countries, including China.