|Prime Minister Shinzo Abe|
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday reiterated his intention to strengthen Japan's defense capability, citing the "severe" security environment surrounding Japan, including North Korea's recent test-firing of missiles.
Speaking at the National Defense Academy, Abe said North Korea's launching of four ballistic missiles on March 6, all of which fell within or near Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, posed "a very serious situation in terms of our country's security."
"As the security environment becomes severe, we must enhance our own defense capability and aim to expand the role we can play," the premier said at a graduation ceremony at the academy in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo.
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