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Threats flowed from China after a Japanese official said his country would need to defend Taiwan if China ever invaded it. The Communist Party-run Global Times responded to the comment from Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso with an editorial proclaiming that “Japan will dig its own grave if it crosses red line of Taiwan question.” Hu Xijin, chief editor of the Global Times, went even further, saying China would “destroy” any Japanese forces that dared get in its way, according to Newsweek. The onslaught of rhetoric was triggered by a report from the Kyodo news agency that Aso said during a political fundraiser that Japan could not stand by if China were to invade Taiwan. “If a major problem took place in Taiwan, it would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation [for Japan],” he was quoted as saying, Reuters reported. “In such a case, Japan and the United States will have to work together to defend Taiwan,” Aso was also quoted as saying, according to The Guardian. “We need to consider seriously that Okinawa could be next.” China claims it is the rightful owner of some tiny islands off of Okinawa.

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