2 LDP Candidates Positive on Japan Possessing N-Submarine

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)--Two of the four candidates in the leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party suggested Sunday that Japan should consider possessing a nuclear-powered submarine to boost its defense capability.

The two--regulatory reform minister Taro Kono and former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi--supported the idea of the Self-Defense Forces acquiring a nuclear submarine in a television debate, before the election is scheduled to be held on Wednesday to choose the successor to LDP President and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

"It is very important for Japan to have nuclear submarine capability," Kono, 58, said, while stressing the need to consider the possibility of a local government hosting the home port for a nuclear submarine, operational capacity and related costs.

Takaichi, 60, said, "It is a good idea to have long-distance response capability in view of the future international environment."

The other two--former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida and LDP Executive Acting Secretary-General Seiko Noda--took a cautious attitude.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press