30 September 2023

False: Japan did not warn China of retaliation over missile landing

The “statement” shared on Chinese social media is not official. It originates from a Japanese tweet that simply expressed the user’s view on the incident.


Five ballistic missiles fired by the Chinese military fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on Aug. 4, following the drills by China around Taiwan.

Several posts on Weibo (here and here) claimed Japan warned that if China doesn’t apologize, this incident would be regarded as a declaration of war, and they will send troops.

The posts included a screenshot of a tweet in Japanese with an embedded news headline mentioning then-Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, suggesting that the “warning” is an official statement.

Altogether, these posts have over 3,800 likes and more than 230 reposts as of this writing.

However, this claim is false.

The original Japanese tweet did not include any official words from the government. It simply reads, when translated to English, the user “wishes [Kishi] would have said [or would say], no apology is regarded as a declaration of war.”

The subsequent sentences about “sending troops” and China’s “invasion of Japan’s sovereignty” are also part of the comment by the user and not the news report.

The tweet included in the Weibo post.

The embedded news article comes from Abema Times published on Yahoo News on Aug. 4.

It mentions nothing about Japan going into war with China. It reported that after the incident then-Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi “strongly protested China through diplomatic channels.”

The news article embedded in the original Japanese tweet.

According to the article, Kishi said he believes it was the first time Chinese missiles fell in Japan’s EEZ, and the “serious incident” affects Japan’s security and people’s safety.

The Chinese military began its exercises surrounding Taiwan on Aug. 4, following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Aug.2.

Five of the missiles fired by China reportedly landed in Japan’s EEZ off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands.