Japan’s efforts to bolster its defense against growing threats in the region are currently underway, which includes looking into acquiring counterstrike capabilities, according to reports.
Stars and Stripes, a daily military newspaper, reported that a Japanese Defense Ministry spokesperson confirmed a meeting took place between the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, a conservative political party in the country.
Stars and Stripes reported that a document detailing the acquisition of counter missile defense capabilities was shown at the meeting.
“It is being considered within the limits of the constitution and international laws based on the recognition of whether we are equipped enough to protect the lives of Japanese citizens,” the spokesperson told Stars and Stripes. “Therefore, we will continue to maintain an exclusive defense-oriented security posture.”
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Specifics of the counterstrike capabilities were not discussed because they were still under review.
The Associated Press reported on Nov. 22 that a Japanese government-commissioned panel said in a report to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that drastic defense buildup including the use of preemptive strike is “indispensable” to counter growing threats in the region.
Kishida and his governing party want to double Japan’s current defense budget to $10 trillion in the next five years, the AP said, to pay for military spending, reinforce the arms industry, and research and develop innovative technologies.
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Growing threats from Russia and North Korea, the latter of which continues to lob missiles toward Japan, pushed Kishida to pledge reinforcement of Japan’s military capabilities.
“Reinforcing deterrence is the top priority for the government and the governing party,” Kishida said when he met with executives of the governing bloc after receiving the panel recommendations.
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According to the AP, Kishida’s party renamed preemptive strike to counterstrike capability to emphasize that it would be for self-defense.
With that capability, Japan could strike and disable enemy missiles before they are launched.