INTERVIEW: Japan Ex-Defense Chief Onodera Sees Severe Security Environment


Tokyo, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--The security environment around Japan is becoming increasingly severe due to threats chiefly from North Korea, China and Russia, former Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.

"The security environment has become much more severe than it was nine years ago, when Japan's existing national security strategy was created," said Onodera, currently chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Research Commission on Security.

He said that North Korea, China and Russia have improved their military capabilities.

"The situation is forcing us to pay attention to two or three fronts," said Onodera, who heads a working team set up by the LDP-led ruling coalition to discuss the country's three key national security documents set to be updated later this year.

In the current situation, what Japan has to do now is to increase the utilization rate of its existing defense equipment, Onodera said. To achieve this goal, certain levels of budget need to be secured, including for placing parts orders and increasing maintenance spending, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press