YUSUKE TAKEUCHI, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — Japan does not seek the power to destroy an enemy nation, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the parliament on Wednesday, stressing that a proposed capacity to attack missile bases would not go beyond the limits of the country’s pacifist constitution.
“Destroying another nation, waging a full-scale war, and having the capability to do so — these are not on the agenda at all,” Kishida said in response to a question by Communist Party lawmaker Keiji Kokuta in the lower house budget committee.
Kokuta was asking about government discussions begun the same day on updating the National Security Strategy and other documents to meet a changing defense environment. Among the key topics is whether Japan needs the capability to strike enemy bases to prevent missile attacks.
“I have no intention of discussing matters that go beyond the constitution, international law and the basic roles in the U.S.-Japan security pact,” Kishida also said. “We will think about what we can do within those constraints.”
“We will explore all realistic options without excluding anything, including the ability to strike enemy bases,” Kishida said, adding that “our defense capabilities need to be fundamentally bolstered.”