INTERVIEW: Japan Needs Clear Rules for Counterstrikes


Tokyo, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan needs to clearly state general rules for the exercise of its counterstrike capabilities, former Vice Defense Minister for International Affairs Ro Manabe has told Jiji Press.

The government's decision in December last year to possess counterstrike capabilities, or the ability to hit enemy bases, was "somewhat abrupt," Manabe said in a recent interview, criticizing Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's administration for failing to give sufficient explanations.

"The Self-Defense Forces, in cooperation with the U.S. military, have maintained response readiness that uses missile defense equipment," he said. "If the improvement of the missile forces of neighboring countries causes doubts about the posture, the first thing Japan should do is to enhance its missile defense capabilities."

"Counterstrike capabilities should be considered a means to make up" for what is lacking with the missile defense system, Manabe said, adding that Japan has failed to make clear enough why it needs counterstrike capabilities.

Partially endorsing the government's position, Manabe said that the acquisition of counterstrike capabilities will help improve the country's deterrence power somewhat.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press