Tokyo is looking for ways to strengthen its defensive position, including gaining the ability to strike “enemy bases,” the country’s prime minister said, signaling a potential formal shift in the country’s post-World War II pacifist stance. .
The hawkish words were made by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday, as he addressed Parliament at the opening of a special session, called to discuss additional spending to combat the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In order to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people, we will consider all options, including the ability to attack enemy bases … and fundamentally strengthen our defensive position with a sense of speed,” Kishida said.
The Prime Minister made a similar statement last week, when he attended a review of a base of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and even drove a tank during the event. Obtain attack ability to target “Enemy bases” may be needed from Tokyo “cannot neglect [North Korea’s] recent development and improvement of new technologies such as hypersonic glide weapons and missiles with irregular orbits ”, the official said at the time.
from China “Unilateral attempts to change the status quo” as well as its military reinforcement “without sufficient transparency” also concern Tokyo, he added.
Obtaining overseas strike capability has been debated in Japan for years, but it is likely to be at odds with the country’s existing constitution, which was designed after militarist Japan was defeated in the Second World War.
Article 9 of the constitution states that “The Japanese people forever renounce war as the sovereign right of the nation”, as well as to refuse to use force or threat in the international arena.
In accordance with this pacifist position, the country is only allowed to maintain a self-defense force with limited capacities, used for the defense of the territory. In reality, however, the Japanese Self-Defense Force has already grown into an army in its own right, with all major branches, equipped with modern equipment, present. The country has nearly 250,000 active-duty soldiers, as well as a large fleet of combat aircraft and warships.
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