At a meeting on July 16, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) study group on missile defense, which is headed by former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, presented a draft proposal to the government. The proposal includes the need to prevent attacks within the domain of an enemy nation through the possession of the capability to strike enemy bases. Some participants at the meeting, however, expressed caution and the group decided to postpone reaching a conclusion about the proposal.
The draft proposal suggested by Onodera and others says it is necessary to improve Japan’s deterrence capability, including preventing ballistic missile attacks even within the domain of an enemy country, under the exclusively defense-oriented policy within the framework of the Constitution. Though the proposal does not stipulate the possession of the capability to attack enemy bases, it effectively emphasizes the necessity of Japan’s acquiring the capability. It also specifies the strengthening of “integrated air-and-missile defense capabilities.”
Some participants at the meeting agreed with the proposal, saying, “Some strike capabilities are necessary as a deterrent.” But others were critical of the proposal, saying, “That will create tension with neighboring countries.” The study group initially intended to compile a proposal by later this month, but reconciling all the views may be delayed.
The government has begun considering alternative plans following its decision to abandon the deployment of the Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system. It aims to roughly set a course of action in September.