02 June 2017

News Story: LDP draft suggests Japan possess warning satellites, ability to strike enemy bases

CGI of an Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Research Commission on Security on May 31 compiled a draft recommendation that Japan ramp up its capabilities to counter the North Korean nuclear and missile threat with the introduction of its own early warning satellites and the ability to strike enemy bases.

Japan currently relies on a U.S. early warning satellite that detects sources of heat to gain information on North Korean missile launches. The proposal presented at a meeting of security commission directors says that this affects Japan's readiness, as the nation is unable to give independently swift evaluations of launches.

To heighten the accuracy of ballistic missile defense, the commission in its draft proposed introducing early warning satellites and spy planes, among other options. Regarding the ability to strike enemy bases in response to an attack, the commission proposed that Japan possess cruise missiles.

There remain concerns, however, that if Japan possessed the ability to strike enemy bases, it would be a departure from the "exclusively defense-oriented policy" which is its basic stance.

With respect to ballistic missile defense, the commission draft requested that Japan introduce the land-based Aegis Ashore defense system including SM-3 missiles.

The draft additionally sought that Japan's Ministry of Defense possess the capability to conduct cyberattacks, but at the meeting of directors, it was pointed out that this could constitute use of force, and so the issue was left as one for future consideration.

Read the full story at The Mainichi