INTERVIEW: Ex-Japan Official Cautious about Enemy Base Attack Capability

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 18 (Jiji Press)--A former senior Japanese government official has sounded cautious about the country potentially possessing the capability to attack enemy bases.

On top of political hurdles to obtain such a capability, exercising it would be difficult in terms of military maneuvering, Kyoji Yanagisawa, former assistant chief cabinet secretary, said in an interview.

Discussions on whether Japan should obtain the capability have intensified after the government recently decided to scrap its plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system due to a technical problem.

Possessing the capability would be "far more difficult than introducing Aegis Ashore," and its costs would be "astronomical," Yanagisawa, a defense expert, said, noting that he feels a sense of alarm about the government being quick to initiate such discussions.

He said: "You'd need to know where to attack and beat the enemy's air defense network and be able to assess how much damage was dealt. If that weren't enough, a second attack would be needed, and that would be more likely to trigger a counterattack than using interceptor missiles."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press