By Yamaguchi Akihito
At a press conference held on March 16, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio noted that the government would respond to a missile attack on the nation’s nuclear power stations by strengthening its defense capability. “Missile-related technology is advancing day by day, and we will work out [how we should respond to missile attacks] in detail when we review our three (defense) documents, including the National Security Strategy,” he said. He refrained from mentioning [the possibility of] suspending or decommissioning reactors.
The premier explained the government’s conventional position of protecting nuclear power stations by shooting down an incoming missile from an Aegis ship or by ground-to-air PAC-3 guided missile. He stressed that an armed attack against a nuclear power station is a “violation of international law” and that the government will protect a nuclear facility under attack on its own based on the peace and security legislation. “We will review whether our defense capability and the response capability and deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance are sufficient,” he said. On the nation’s antiterrorism measures for non-armed attacks, he said that “our domestic law requires operators to take action.”
During the press conference, a Tokyo Shimbun reporter raised his hand to ask a question, but was not called on.