By Duncan Smith

Elements of the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force have been conducting secret operations that are intended to send a direct message to China: Back the F off or else.

What’s more, Japan appears to be a much more willing participant these days, due in large part, no doubt, to China’s continued expansion into the South China Sea and its construction of new warships at a breakneck pace.

In the past, Tokyo felt constrained by its post-World War II pacifist, self-defense only constitution (that the U.S. wrote), but again, as China rises, Japan has gotten increasingly nervous and as such, is ‘bending the rules’ a bit, so to speak.

The Financial Times reports (via Zero Hedge):

The United States has long wanted Japan, an ally of the mutual defense treaty, to carry out more joint military planning, but Japan was constrained by its postwar pacifist constitution. That hurdle was eased, but not removed, when the Abe government in 2015 reinterpreted the constitution to allow Japan to defend allies that came under attack.

When the two allies began to strengthen their joint planning, Japan asked the United States to share its Taiwan war plan, but the Pentagon objected because it wanted to focus on pushing planning between the two countries in phases. A former US official said the ultimate goal was for the two allies to create an integrated war plan for Taiwan.

“A major part of what likely helped Japan shift its perspective is the recent uptick in large-scale Chinese PLA flights into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone,” Zero Hedge added. “These aerial incursions have been occurring on a near daily basis, and have grown bigger and bigger, including often the presence of nuclear-capable long rage bombers.”

China will try to test Joe Biden at some point, you can almost bet on it. This proves that the Pentagon believes so, too.

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