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Weighing the impact of Korea and Taiwan crises on the region

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Last weekend, the Canon Institute for Global Studies conducted a 24-hour policy simulation (or so-called war game) focused on simultaneous crises in the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan in the foreseeable future.

This was the 31st game hosted by CIGS — a Tokyo-based think tank whose foreign policy/national security shop I direct — since 2009, and some 50 participants, including government and Self-Defense Force officials, regional experts, scholars, businesspersons and journalists, gathered Saturday morning to play roles as officials or reporters from North and South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

The participants in the war game performed so realistically that the outcome of the simulation became something worth examining. Although CIGS will eventually publish a more detailed report on this event, the following is my personal take on its outcome.

This time the simulation was based on the following assumptions:

First, in the year 20XX, the U.S. president agrees with his North Korean counterpart to lift financial sanctions as well as to gradually withdraw the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) over four years in return for Pyongyang dismantling its intercontinental ballistic missiles as the first step toward complete denuclearization.

Second, while Taiwan finally loses all its official diplomatic relations with other countries, in a referendum by the local government in Taiwan’s Quemoy island near the mainland, an overwhelming majority of the residents vote for “belonging to mainland China” rather than “belonging to Taiwan (the Republic of China).”

This is just another war game and........

© The Japan Times