Tokyo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)–Fumio Kishida and Sanae Takaichi, both of whom will run for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, mentioned on Monday Japan’s possible possession of the capability to attack enemy bases.
Former LDP policy chief Kishida and former internal affairs minister Takaichi referred to the possibility after North Korea test-launched a new type of long-range cruise missile on the weekend.
Regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, who will also run in the LDP leadership race on Sept. 29, stressed the significance of improving Japan’s response in such fields as cyberspace and electromagnetic waves.
“I will make efforts to strengthen (Japan’s) defense capacity at a time when the missile capabilities of nearby countries are developing,” Kishida told a news conference.
He said that Japan’s acquisition of the capability to attack enemy bases is a “key option.”
“We can keep balance with the Constitution” if an attack on an enemy base comes against a first strike, Kishida said.
Takaichi told reporters that Japan “does not have the ability to protect (itself) if it suffers waves of attacks.”
“We should have a deterrence that Japan may fire a precision-guided missile,” she stressed, calling for legislation that would make it possible to neutralize enemy bases.
Kono told reporters that discussions on the enemy base attack capability were held “a long time ago” since North Korea has a mobile launch pad.
While calling for improving deterrence by strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, Kono said countries now need to consider how to respond to cyber and information warfare as well as so-called gray-zone situations before exercising military power.