Interesting article about the geopolitical importance of Taiwan to Japan.
Taiwan is a chokepoint of great utility for blockading Japan. The Taiwan Strait, it notes, is a Japanese maritime lifeline that runs from Europe and the Middle East, and based on PLA [People’s Liberation Army, China’s military] studies, Japan receives 90 percent of its oil imports, 99 percent of its mineral resources, and 100 percent of its nuclear fuel needs from ships that travel across these sea lanes. In total, 500 million tons of Japanese imports pass by Taiwanese waters each year, with 80 percent of all Japan’s container ships traveling right through the Strait, the equivalent of one Japanese cargo ship every ten minutes. Consequently, these waters will, “directly affect Japan’s life or death, its survival or demise.
Sure, ships could just go around the Taiwan strait, but there are a couple of other things like underwater cables, submarine routes and proximity to contested islands that are important.
All of this becomes relevant when thinking about how the West should react to Chinese aggression towards Taiwan. Have a read, if you want to learn more.