Attack Capabilities Hot Topic in Japan after Trump Inauguration (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)—Whether Japan should acquire capabilities to conduct preemptive strikes on enemy bases is becoming a hot topic in the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party after US President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Concerned that Trump may reduce the US military involvement in the defense of Japan, some officials and politicians propose enhancing their country's own defense capabilities by introducing new equipment that can be used to strike North Korean missile bases, informed sources said.

To acquire such new capabilities, however, Japan would need to resolve a lot of problems, including heavy defense costs and consistency with its long-held principle of the exclusively defensive posture.

"We need to consider how we should protect the lives and property of the Japanese people and what kind of deterrents can be possible under the exclusively defensive policy," Prime Minister Abe Shinzō told a House of Representatives committee meeting Thursday. He sounded positive about discussions on whether Japan should own capabilities to attack enemy bases.

Under the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution and the bilateral security treaty, Japan's Self-Defense Forces are responsible for the defense and the US military for the offense.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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