With 5 Missiles, China Sends Stark Signal to Japan and U.S. on Taiwan

Speaking to reporters, Japan’s defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, called the incident “a grave issue that concerns our national security and the safety of the people.”

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, dismissed the Japanese complaints, telling reporters that Beijing did not recognize Japan’s economic zone, where the missiles landed.

China also called off a meeting between its foreign minister, Wang Yi, and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, after the Group of 7 industrialized nations issued a statement expressing concern about Beijing’s “threatening actions” around Taiwan.

The missile incident is in some ways a familiar routine for Japan, which has seen 10 North Korean ballistic missiles land in its economic zone since 2016. In the short term, according to Ms. Tatsumi, the analyst, Japan’s response to Beijing is likely to follow the same playbook as with Pyongyang: diplomatic protests and more vigilance.

“Japan definitely does not want to be blamed by China for quote unquote overreacting,” she said, “so they won’t counter with anything physical, but their monitoring will ramp up.”

In the longer term, however, China should expect Japan to harden itself militarily, she said.

“It will not slow down Japan’s debate on increasing its defense spending,” she added. “If anything it will probably accelerate it, and it will also accelerate conversations between the U.S. and Japan.”

Hisako Ueno and Makiko Inoue contributed reporting from Tokyo, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.

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