Japanese and US defence chiefs agreed in their meeting last week in Tokyo to closely cooperate in the event of a military clash between mainland China and Taiwan, Japanese government sources said on Saturday.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin brought up the issue in talks with Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday, though there was no discussion on how their countries should coordinate their response to such an emergency, the sources said.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi agree to cooperate but do not discuss how a response should be coordinated
Tokyo is reviewing the possibility of using its Self-Defence Forces to protect US warships and aircraft in event of conflict over Taiwan.
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since they split as a result of a civil war in 1949. Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory, awaiting reunification.