By Helene Fung
Japan’s ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, approved a proposal to acquire capabilities ballistic missile attacks within enemy territory.
The proposal will be presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as early as next week.
Japan’s National Security Council will then assess the proposal, and it is expected to finalise new defence policies by the end of September.
This would be a marked change from the pacifist position long held by Japan, which renounced the right to wage war after its World War Two defeat.
It is expected make not only North Korea nervous, but possibly also China and Russia, as they could be within range of any new long range strike weapons.
“Our country needs to consider ways to strengthen deterrence, including having the capability to halt ballistic missile attacks within the territory of our adversaries,”said the proposal document.
The ability to strike missiles is preferred as it is easier to hit missiles on launch pads then when they are mobile at high speed.
However, Japan does not currently possess satellites required to locate mobile launchers, meaning it would be relying on assistance from the United States as a key ally.