Japanese defense minister Yasuhide Nakayama gave a chilling assessment of the situation as discussed threats from China to Taiwan and potentially to Hawaii from Russia.

Russia ships and warplanes allegedly came as close as 35 miles from Hawaii
Russia ships and warplanes allegedly came as close as 35 miles from Hawaii
Russia carried out the biggest drill of its kind since the Cold War
Yasuhide Nakayama warned the US could face an attack like Pearl Harbor
Yasuhide Nakayama warned the US could face an attack like Pearl HarborCredit: Reuters

Mr Nakayama was speaking at the Hudson Institute and reportedly claimed China and Russia are preparing jointly for the threat of a major war exploding in the region, according to the Washington Exaimer.

“We have to show the deterrence towards China, and not just China but also the Russians, because, as I told you, that they are doing their exercises together,” he said.

And to hammer home is point about the threat in the Pacific, he pointed to recent war games which Russia carried out just 35 miles from the US state Hawaii.

He compared the threat to that of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese surprise attack that dragged the US into World War 2 at the end of 1941.

“Seventy years ago, we attacked Pearl Harbor, but now the U.S. and Japan [are] very good allies, one of the best allies all over the world,” he said.

“I don’t want to remind [us of the attack] 70 years ago, but we have to be careful of the exercising of the Russians.

“They are taking place [off] the western side of that, Honolulu, I mean, in Hawaii.”

Russian war games saw the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group deployed to the region for its own exercises.

And meanwhile Vladimir Putin’s forces practiced sinking enemy ships nearby with “missile and artillery firings” designed to check their readiness in a “hot climate”.

Mr Nakayama described the stretch of sea between Japan and Hawaii – an area of around 4,100 miles – as becoming zone often used by Russia and China.

He said: “So, [for] the United States, the protection line is going to be backwards a little bit.”

US forces had to scramble F-22 fighter jets to meet Russian bombers near Hawaii to ensure they did not enter US airspace – an incident which took place as Putin was due to meet US President Joe Biden.

Putin has this year ordered a succession of military exercises across Russia’s eleven time zones amid the highest tension between East and West since the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

And amid the warnings in the Pacific, NATO war games are taking place in the Black Sea following a tense stand off between the Russian navy and British destroyer HMS Defender.

More than 2,000 Americans died when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941

What happened at Pearl Harbor?

THE BOMBING of Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941 marked a turning point in World War II with America joining the war shortly after the attack.

On December 7, 1941, at 7.55am local time, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

The first wave of the attack bombed hangars and over 300 parked aircrafts on Oahu’s airfields – while torpedoes were also launched against US warships in Pearl Harbour.

Four battleships were hit early on in the attack, with the sinking of the USS Arizona killing some 1,170 men trapped inside.

After two hours, the attack was over and every battleship in the harbor had been seriously damaged.

But because the water was shallow all but two battleships were recovered and rebuilt.

During the attack, 2,403 Americans were killed and a further 1,000 were injured.

The attack on Pearl Harbor took the Americans – who were not then involved in WWII – completely by surprise.

But Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku had spent months planning the attack with the aim to destroy America’s Pacific Fleet and destroy morale in the U.S. Navy.

The plan was to prevent America from fighting back as Japanese forces began to advance on other targets across the South Pacific.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor would drive the United States into World War II – a conflict that ended with Japan’s surrender after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

An estimated 140,000 of Hiroshima’s 350,000 population were killed in the nuclear blast, and at least 74,000 died in Nagasaki.

Mr Nakayama also spoke about the seemingly constant threat from China towards Taiwan – with the Communist giant seeking to “reunify” with the breakaway island that has declared independence.

Chinese military exercises near the island have been taking place, and its feared that Beijing could be preparing for an invasion.

The Japanese minister said: “I think the Taiwanese are really concerned. And also, they’re focusing on the two big countries collaborating and [presenting] a lot of threat towards Taiwan.”

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, by the island’s government maintain a positive relationship with the US who appear willing to defend them from aggression from Beijing.

“He have to protect Taiwan as a democratic country,” he said.

And as expected, China reacted angrily to Mr Nakayama’s description of Taiwan as a “country” on multiple occasions.

China’s ambitions to reclaim Taiwan were hammered home again today as the Communist Party marked its hundredth anniversary with a fiery speech from President Xi Jinping.

China has undertaken an ambitious program to boost its military might

President Xi said: “Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people.

“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”

Taiwan hit back quickly and blasted China for trampling on people’s freedoms and accused it of being a dictatorship, and said it will defend its sovereignty from Beijing.

Elsewhere in his speech, President Xi also appeared to throw down a gauntlet as an ambitious China continues to rise despite the Covid pandemic.

He warned China’s enemies would “have their heads bashed bloody”- as chilling satellite pictures reveal he is building more than 100 new nuclear missile silos.

The all-powerful leader told crowds that “no one should underestimate the resolve” of the Chinese people , and that Beijing would put an end to “sanctimonious preaching” – another veiled dig at Washington.

Joe Biden has pledged to confront challenges from both Russia and China
Joe Biden has pledged to confront challenges from both Russia and China Credit: Reuters
Vladimir Putin always denies any aggressive intent from Russia
Xi Jinping has promised to 'bash bloody' anyone who takes on China
Xi Jinping has promised to ‘bash bloody’ anyone who takes on China Credit: AP

Meanwhile, yesterday Putin was also talking tough as he claimed he could have sunk HMS Defender without sparking World War 3.

He boasted his forces could have attacked the ship as the West knows “full well that they can’t win in that war” – and he also suggested the clash was calculated with the US.

Putin also called Ukrainians and Russians “one people” in response to a question on Moscow’s tug-of-war with Kyiv over its eastern territories.

Moscow had sparked further tensions earlier this year by massing almost 100,000 troops near the border its former Soviet neighbor amid fears of an invasion.

Cold War-esque tensions appear to be hotting up as the world continues to emerge from the pandemic.

China is facing accusations of its human rights record, claims it has covered up key questions about Covid, and fears over its ambitions in the South China Sea and against Taiwan.

Russia meanwhile continues to face accusations over election interference, cyber attacks and its apparent aggression towards Ukraine.

Putin has taunted the US, saying their world dominance is “over” and threatened to strike back if any “boundaries are crossed”.