Japan to Put Off Decision on Enemy Base Strike Capabilities

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will continue discussions on whether to acquire enemy base strike capabilities into next year without setting a deadline although former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aimed to reach a conclusion on the matter by the end of this year, it was learned Thursday.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is slated to approve this policy at its meeting on Dec. 18, government and ruling coalition sources said.

With less than a year until the next election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament, the government is effectively putting off discussions on enemy base strike capabilities, toward which there is opposition even among ruling bloc lawmakers.

The cabinet decision slated for Dec. 18 would have two pillars. One of them is constructing Aegis system-equipped destroyers as a substitute for an Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system, whose introduction has been abandoned. The other is converting the Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missiles into long-range “standoff missiles” capable of attacking from beyond areas threatened by enemies.

The cabinet decision is expected to show the government’s intention to continue talks on the issue of enemy base strike capabilities, saying that ways to “boost deterrence” will be discussed, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press