Abe Likely to Issue Statement on New Missile Defense Strategy

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to issue a statement before his Sept. 16 resignation to make clear his new position on ballistic missile defense, government sources said Saturday.

The focus is on whether the outgoing prime minister can publish an in-depth statement at a time when the ruling camp is divided over missile defense. The Liberal Democratic Party wants Japan to possess the capability to attack targets in other countries’ territories, while its junior coalition partner, Komeito, takes a persistently cautious stance.

When he announced his resignation at a press conference on Aug. 28 citing his chronic disease, Abe said the ruling camp will start discussions quickly on Japan’s new missile defense policy to make it more concrete.

Abe is very eager to draw a conclusion on a new national security strategy by the end of this year, according to the sources familiar with the matter.

A decision on whether Japan should effectively have the capability to attack enemy bases will be left to the next administration, but Abe is apparently hoping to prevent the issue from being shelved by announcing the statement before he steps down.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press