Tokyo ponders new defense strategy

Panel foreshadows possible turn in Japan's longstanding postwar pacifistic stance

Tokyo ponders new defense strategy

World Bulletin / News Desk

A panel studying Japan’s response to North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear/missile capabilities has recommended that Japan be equipped to retaliate should the North launch a ballistic missile at its heartland.

The announcement was made March 30 and explained at a Wednesday press conference attended by two former defense ministers in the Shinzo Abe government, both members of the panel.

If adopted as official policy, this recommendation would represent a sea change in Japan’s defense posture and another step away from its Constitution, which prohibits any use of force in international situations or maintaining any armed forces.

Japan’s pacifistic constitution has been interpreted as allowing for a minimal defense, and the armed forces are officially designated “self-defense” forces.

“Striking a country that is lobbing missiles at us is no different from enemy bombers or ships bombarding us,” said Itsunori Onodera, the former defense minister who heads the policy group in the governing Liberal Democratic Party studying how to respond to the missile threat.

On the very day he talked with journalists, Pyongyang launched another intermediate-range ballistic missile from a site on the Korean east coast. Unlike previous launches it did not land close to Japan.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2017, 14:08
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