Defense chief says Japan may consider having military capability to attack enemy bases

Defense Agency Director General Ishiba Shigeru at a news conference on July 27 said that the Self-Defense Forces at present isn't considering acquiring weapons capable of attacking enemy bases. But he did not rule out the possibility of considering such weapons in the future.

By the year's end the government will formulate the outline of its defense program concerning weapons to be acquired for the SDF. On the list for discussion are the U.S. antiship/ground missile Harpoon 2, the Tomahawk cruise missile, light aircraft carriers, and precision-guided bombs.

However, the government in the past argued against introducing inter-continental ballistic missiles and long-range strategic bombers. In 1959, DA Director General Ino Shigejiro said, "Maintaining weapons for long-range attack does not comply with the Constitution"; DADG Kawara Tsutomu in 1988 stated, "Weapons with an attack capability are outside the minimum scope allowed for self-defense."

If Japan acquires light aircraft carriers and cruise missiles capable of attack, it will renege on its own principle and will inevitably draw criticism from Asian countries victimized in Japan's war of aggression. (end)

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