politics

LDP policymakers say Japan should have missile base-striking ability

43 Comments

In what could be a controversial move under Japan's pacifist Constitution, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's defense policymakers said Thursday they have drawn up a draft proposal urging that Japan consider developing the capability of striking missile bases in other countries.

A team of policymakers, headed by former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, came up with the proposal as part of ways to strengthen the country's deterrence against North Korean missile threats following the government's cancellation last month of a plan to deploy a costly land-based U.S. missile defense system known as Aegis Ashore.

The draft says, "New efforts are needed to improve deterrence, including possession of the ability to intercept ballistic missiles and others even in the territory of an opponent," while maintaining the exclusively defense-oriented policy, according to a member of the team.

The draft is expected to be submitted to the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the LDP leader, early next month after several rounds of party discussions.

"Although the draft says the country will need (something that is) somewhat similar to Aegis Ashore for protection, we didn't put any concrete alternatives in the proposal," Onodera told reporters after Thursday's meeting of the LDP team studying missile defense. "The proposal will only provide a direction."

In previous meetings, the team discussed alternatives, including introducing a new interception system of detecting an incoming missile with high-grade radar on the ground and shooting it down with missiles launched from a sea-based platform, or simply building more Aegis destroyers equipped with missile interceptors.

Defense Minister Taro Kono said last month that Japan would halt the process of deploying the Aegis Ashore system, citing the discovery of a safety-related problem that would require even more costs and time to deal with.

Kono has said the government would find an alternative means of protecting the country from the missile threat by the end of September.

The government has said the Aegis Ashore system could not ensure that a rocket booster from an interceptor missile would land safely inside the candidate deployment sites or sea -- something it had promised local residents -- as the reason for giving up the project.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
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Surely this is just common sense Much better to shoot down a North Korean missile while it’s in North Korea, rather than above our heads.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

I don’t think that NK is the target of the preemptive defense weapons. They don’t have enough money to send more than 1 rocket anyhow.

The real enemy to protect from is the human rights violator China who has already started aggressively to encroach on Japanese territory (Senkaku and Okinotorishima).

In a sense the conflict has already started. Japan should be well prepared to counter the threat.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The world is not getting any safer, as more countries acquire nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them. What is the best policy to pursue for safety?

One can do as many nations have done, and intentionally refuse to arm with nuclear weapons. One can attempt to secure a bilateral treaty with a nation that has nuclear weapons, hoping that they can be trusted to use them in your defense, if the need be. Or, one can pursue a policy of arming with nuclear weapons, and the concurrent understanding that any country that attacks you will be engaging in "mutually assured destruction." Perhaps there are other alternatives as well.

One can hope and pray that peoples' better natures, if not simple common sense, will always rule their actions, but recent events have shown that mentally disturbed people are perfectly capable of becoming the leader of a nuclear armed country. Thus, it is proper and necessary that the Japanese people, and Japan's leaders, consider what is their best course of action to try to prevent a nuclear attack in the future.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

rgcivilian1Today  08:58 am JST

> That's because many of them are heavily invested using funding companies with China, not much different during the Khan and Hatoyama days here in Japan.

"KHAN!!!"- Khan Noonien Singh? I don't remember him ever being PM, but offensive weapons would be just as dangerous in his hands as the LDPs.

Does anyone truly believe there aren't already 'contingency plans' put in place by the leaders of Japan, in case things go south with any of its neighbours?

With its worryingly large stockpile of plutonium and habit of under-reporting it to the international community, you have to wonder what is being done with it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

They should go through with it, much more practical to eliminate missiles bases altogether than waiting for and reacting to individual missiles coming in

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Someone made a good point about WWII....and now of course it has been censored and deleted....

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japan and the US should consider basing a US Army mechanized division in northeastern Honshu, moving the US Navy's amphibious ships from Sasebo to Maizuru and creating another Maritime Pre-positioned Force to be anchored at Ominato. That places a dagger pointing at Wonson and points north that North Korea doesn't have to worry about now, or the possibility of slicing south east to the border with China. The US Army could operate land based Tomahawks and perhaps ballistic missiles relieving Japan of the constitutional problems that arise from the JGSDF operating such systems. Japan should also consider placing their BMD systems on Sado and Dogojima Islands where boosters aren't going to fall on someone's home or business.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

North Korea can have it; so does China, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and St. Kitts.

Even my Auntie Matilda possesses offensive capacities.

Why is Japan the only country not allowed to to inflict pain on those bent on doing it to them?

Japan must, and will have offensive capabilities; it's just when, not if.

"China’s Ultimate Nightmare: Japan Armed With Nuclear Weapons"

"https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china%E2%80%99s-ultimate-nightmare-japan-armed-nuclear-weapons-14214"

Time for Japan to rearm and put China in its place; also silence many a JT "expert" in the process.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

Japan has had a military since 1950 and they have never engaged in hostilities. I would trust Japan with offensive capable weapons well before other nations both in and out of the region. Japan, more than any other developed nation is unlikely to ever use such a capability unless they absolutely had no other alternative.

How Japan has handled the COVID19 pandemic, which incidentally is better than some countries and worse than some others, it totally irrelevant to this issue.

There is no doubt that the security scenario for Japan has changed, and while North Korea remains a constant threat in terms of missile attacks, the bigger threat is China and it's territorial expansion agenda. In fact one of the scenarios could easily be a combination of both threats at once. Japan clearly needs to have the capability. Of course his gets the j-haters and wu maos here get all bent out of shape at the notion of a Japan that can truly defend itself.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

"Obama and the democratic government said in pretention that they did not intervene in territorial issues when Senkaku issue happened."

That's because many of them are heavily invested using funding companies with China, not much different during the Khan and Hatoyama days here in Japan.

Japan should have its missile capabilities but only if it is done for "scientific research and data gathering" purposes like its neighbor China states all the time. Then after a few years have passed and the people who signed agreements are all gone, do the same thing and change the rules like they do by stating, "well that agreement was not signed by us and those who signed are not here therefor that agreement is pointless", much like the taking of HK that was on a signed agreement with the UK. hmmm..

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Simon Foston,

Luckily your are not in a position that would allow you an opportunity too offer (personal trust) afforded to the Prime Minster. Unless a registered foreign resident voter? Suffrage granted to us Gaikoku jins?

I personally wouldn't trust Shinzo Abe to tie his own shoelaces.

On 19 November 2019, Abe became Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister. I think the man can handle putting on his own shoes. After all love "em" or hate "em". He has done well. Now on his fourth term as prime minister. He also lived in the United States and studied public policy at the University of Southern California.

Well versed on his counties defense capabilities. As he once stated early on that.

The prime minster sought to revise and broaden the interpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in order to permit Japan to maintain de jure military forces. He had stated that "we are reaching the limit in narrowing down differences between Japan's security and the interpretation of our constitution".

Matter of trust? I would trust Shinzo Abe thumb over the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States over my very current POTUS. At least he would make an educated decision if it cam down to it. The point is the man is educated and not stupid. He has made mistakes. That's for sure. But incompetent? No.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Another Kono-bacle. All of North Korea's missiles are capable of being mobile, ie launched from a truck driving around the country side.

First he gave Xi Jinping the power to decide the next Japanese election, now this...Kono, the gift that keeps on giving (headaches to Abe).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Its a sign of the times and Japan has allot of catching up to do. With the world and its leaders hell bent on destroying ourselves. (with missiles and bio weapons seems to be the method of the modern times.)

Team Japan better jump on board with this missile (defense) race. The bio/chem stuff is just below the belt and grimy stuff. Believe me there is no shame in protecting ones self. I watched the Darkest hour last night on Netflix. What a performance by Garry Oldman by the way. Outstanding!

Not that as if that time in our history may have any relevance on today. or does it? I will let greater minds determine that.

And I am sure not a history buff. Not one iota. One thing I despise is looking back. But man Winston Churchill was a great man indeed so it seems.

Mark my words the North Koreans threats will bare fruition one day and then where will South Korea and Japan be? So shall we take a page out Mr. Churchill's page?

So I say on to the Japanese. Yes its well noted that what happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima should never be unleashed on the world again. And I commend Japan for taking a neutral position and state of mind when it come to missiles and nuclear missiles to be more precise. Admiration and envy on this defense only posture.

Nukes will never have a place here on this hallowed soil. Never again. However,

Japan, Nihon,

Look,

You have right too defend yourselves your country men and woman and her assets.

And you absolutely should. By any means necessary. Unfortunately this is where the world is. However any defense weapon manufactured can also be undone and dismantled one day.

“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”

-Winston Churchill

So no shame Japan. The world will understand your defense posture and doing what required to protect this great country and its people.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

"F-35 fighters that fall out-of-the-sky "

What are you talking about? Compared to fighters from the 1960s and 1970s the F-35 has had an extremely low incidence of mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. Japan's old F-104's were truly mishap prone. They were hot for their day with stubby little wings and difficult to fly. Japan lost 15% of its F104s to mishaps, but that was the second lowest loss rate of any F-104 user. Norway lost 14% of theirs. Most air forces lost 30 something to 40 something percent of their F-104s to crashes. The USAF mishap rate for the F-104 was 25 lost to mishaps (not combat) per 100,000 flight hours. The F-35 test fleet and early production aircraft passed 100,000 cumulative flight hours without a single mishap, a remarkable achievement for a combat jet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you look at how abe and the LDP are handling this pandemic it should give you a good indication of how they would act in a time of a potential military conflict. The government's bumbling ineptitude and lack of decisive leadership during this pandemic gives me little comfort in handing over to them the power of preemptive strike capabilities.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Itsunori Onodera, right of the right-wing. Willing to spend oodles of money on, essentially, useless weapons systems only profits the manufacturer. The acquisition of F-35 fighters that fall out-of-the-sky is a boon to Lockheed-Martin and whoever profits in Tokyo from brokering the sale. China is not going to invade Japan. Nor is a broke-dick NK going to fling its few missiles at japan, those are earmarked for Seoul and Guam. it will all be moot, come the next plague and increasing climate disasters. Best to spend that coin on science and engineering to 'battle' climate change and the next pandemics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well look, if your going to be a powerhouse in Asia, which Japan is without a doubt, and have the third largest economy in the world, as well as be situated right next to Chinese military prowess, you better be able to assert yourself in the region, meaning, be able to defend your entire airspace and souvergn land and or territories at anytime by land, air, sea, digital, and intergalactic, as well be able to preempt any hostilities toward you all the same; this not amature night here, this like Land and political soverngnty basics 101. Not to mention just good governence. This shouldn't even be a topic for discussion, this should have been done long ago.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"https://www.youtube.com/watch?edufilter=NULL&v=L-OWqSCCVAk"

Latest Soryu sub.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Desert T,

Spot on analysis and great suggestions!

The only thing China and North Korea understand is the sword.

Figuratively speaking, As long as Japan and the United States can keep a sword at the throat of China and North Korea we should be able to avoid armed conflict.

I would love to see a huge buildup of our forces in Hokkaido to counter Kim and Xi.

If Biden is elected in November and Tammy Duckworth is VP we just may see that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LDP is calling themselves "responsible party" but they still deny to re-open the Diet despite present largest issue of Japan that unstoppable re-expansion of Covid19.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Japan Commissions its 1st Li-Ion Battery Submarine SS-511 JS Ōryū おうりゅう JMSDF"

Just stick some Tomahawks on them.

Chinese testosterone will drop to proper levels, in no time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A long time coming! It's about time to talk about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just me but I think the appropriate work around for Japan is to have the US Army position land based Tomahawks around eastern Japan on mobile launchers. That serves the same purpose as the JGSDF operating them but relieves Japan of the constitutional problems. Likewise the US Army should operate ballistic missiles on mobile launchers. The US Army is developing both as fast as they can in response to China's build up and the abandonment of the IMF treaty. Having the missiles on mobile launchers makes them much harder to target and easier to hide, making it very hard to impossible to attack them from afar. The Chinese would have to be able to get aircraft over Japan to find them and they are not in a position to do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OracToday  08:41 am JST

About Time! Time to kick some Chinese and Korean butt.

You must be looking forward to the day when you can not only talk about this kind of thing online but also join up and put your life on the line actually doing it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

SlickdrifterToday  12:19 pm JST

@Simon Foston,

Luckily your are not in a position that would allow you an opportunity too offer (personal trust) afforded to the Prime Minster. Unless a registered foreign resident voter? Suffrage granted to us Gaikoku jins?

Where I live it wouldn't make a difference even if I could vote.

On 19 November 2019, Abe became Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister. I think the man can handle putting on his own shoes. After all love "em" or hate "em". He has done well. Now on his fourth term as prime minister.

Yes, by default. He's just lucky the opposition can't get their act together - against a serious challenger he wouldn't stand a chance. He's done well because he's had everything handed to him.

He also lived in the United States and studied public policy at the University of Southern California.

I wouldn't personally be too impressed by his academic record. There were people who did his homework for him when he was a kid because he couldn't be bothered, and I suspect that continued all the way through his education.

The prime minster sought to revise and broaden the interpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in order to permit Japan to maintain de jure military forces. He had stated that "we are reaching the limit in narrowing down differences between Japan's security and the interpretation of our constitution".

Not very hard. He just got the Cabinet to agree with him, like they were always going to because they're a hand-picked cabal of right-wing hardcases.

Matter of trust? I would trust Shinzo Abe thumb over the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States over my very current POTUS. At least he would make an educated decision if it cam down to it. The point is the man is educated and not stupid. He has made mistakes. That's for sure. But incompetent? No.

No? Apart from winning elections that he was always going to win and getting mired in corruption scandals what's he actually achieved?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

" Japan has been able to avoid a lot of attention for its totally defensive stance. As soon as it bends down and picks up a gun, a lot of eyes are going to turn toward Japan."

No it hasn't! The Chinese covet Japanese territory, not just the Senkaku Islands but the whole of the Ryukyus. Lacking that gun as you put it China feels bold and empowered to threaten Japan. But if Japan has the right weapons and is viewed as willing to use them China will be forced to back off. You don't see China playing games like that with the US because they know the US has the means to defeat their navy and a clear history of being willing to use force when their national interests are threatened. Japan is like the nerdy kid in school who keeps their mouth shut but gets pushed around by the "cool kids" all day, until suddenly one day that nerdy kid gets mad enough to throw a solid punch and make one of those bullies run to the school nurses office over their bloody lip.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

NO, thank you.

Japan does not need such ability, what Japan needs is NOTHING more of what it already has. Peace and Prosperity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

About Time! Time to kick some Chinese and Korean butt.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well look, if your going to be a powerhouse in Asia, which Japan is without a doubt, and have the third largest economy in the world, as well as be situated right next to Chinese military prowess, you better be able to assert yourself in the region, meaning, be able to defend your entire airspace and souvergn land and or territories at anytime by land, air, sea, digital, and intergalactic, as well be able to preempt any hostilities toward you all the same; this not amature night here, this like Land and political soverngnty basics 101. Not to mention just good governence. This shouldn't even be a topic for discussion, this should have been done long ago.

Could not agree more with you, my brother.

The geopolitical situation now is radically different to how it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

As much as I despise violence and weaponry, Japan needs to be capable of fully defending itself.

Begging Americans in Japanese soil to defend Japan is totally nuts, if you think of it. Especially given that Chinese and North Korean leaders nowadays are all psychos, and that Americans stationed in Okinawa and Yokosuka do nothing but molest and grope Japanese women, get drunk all the time, violate the law in multiple forms, and still strut around like they owned the place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm sure they want the capability, I would like law makers to be mature/ capable enough to be responsible with such a responsibility. I have more than doubts about their intellectual ability to do so.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

vanityofvanitiesToday  08:12 am JST

Many Japanese have believed the peace constitution guards Japan from foreign attacks. Now that people are beginning to doubt about it.

Unfortunately it doesn't guard Japan against electing six year-old boys in the bodies of sixty year-old men who really shouldn't have any say in military matters whatsoever.

Our neighbors are not peace loving nations. 

A bit like your government, then. The US has been continually pushing Japan to get involved in its dubious international exploits, and the LDP is just itching to jump right in.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Not so cool, Japan.

Military industrial complexes: the most rancid, insatiable and unscrupulous snouts at the trough.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Preemptive Strike.

Intelligence reports indicate that you are planning strikes against me, to stop it I had to fire missiles to destroy it. The intelligence report will never be made public under some flimsy excuse like it would jeopardise or reveal the security of the nation. Well you think the country missiles were fired at won't fire back, it will, it is unilateral declaration of war. Those welcoming the preemptive strike are imagining war to be like you see on your game consoles,

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

There's enough US firepower on Honshu and Okinawa to dispense with any threat a few times over...and Japanese / ex-pat tax payers are already footing the bill for that.

So now there's another in the endless cycle of money-making projects...rest assured if this continues there will be another hike in the consumption/residential tax rate sooner than later, and people will continue to be fleeced by this smoke and mirrors sleight of hand.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I would trust Japan with offensive capable weapons well before other nations both in and out of the region.

Why trust ANYONE with offensive capability?? And why Japan over the Philippines, Taiwan or Mongolia in the region? Or Canada, Switzerland or Madagascar out of the region?

Its not really a matter of trust anyway as nobody trusts their rivals. Its a matter of how Japan will be viewed and treated by her rivals. Japan has been able to avoid a lot of attention for its totally defensive stance. As soon as it bends down and picks up a gun, a lot of eyes are going to turn toward Japan.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

MickeliciousToday  09:53 am JST

Military industrial complexes: the most rancid, insatiable and unscrupulous snouts at the trough.

Hardly any different from the LDP, then.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Many Japanese have believed the peace constitution guards Japan from foreign attacks. Now that people are beginning to doubt about it. Our neighbors are not peace loving nations. Japan cannot take strong attitude against verbal attacks by them - they intervene in our domestic affairs often and Korea outrageously try to rob money from us excavating histories to their advantages. Keeping a foreign military in Japan is not a normal way a sovereign country should be. Japan should prepare so that we can survive without depending on foreign military (occupation forces Japan cannot touch). Keeping a foreign military in their land is a dangerous thing when a war breaks out. Spend money we use for U.S. Forces to strengthen JSDF. Obama and the democratic government said in pretention that they did not intervene in territorial issues when Senkaku issue happened. They used bases on Okinawa fully to deploy their forces to Vietnam which had nothing to do to defend Japan.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

@rationalreader

I bet NK is thinking precisely the same thing about Japanese missiles. Just makes a first strike by NK more likely. Arms races cannot be won.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Any lawmaker who passes this should stand trial for high treason.

The constitution is the law. It has keep Japan out of wars (except the illegal invasion of Iraq). We should be proud we don’t have vast cemeteries of fallen soldiers after the end of WW2.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

OssanAmericaToday  11:13 am JST

So the LDP can't be trusted with offensive weapons...

Would you trust them with anything less dangerous? I personally wouldn't trust Shinzo Abe to tie his own shoelaces.

....but an authoritarian dictatorship next door that is in dispute with everybody and threatens Taiwan can have not only offensive weapons but nuclear as well?

Their country, their rules. Japan could do the same thing if there were enough momentum to make the required changes to the constitution, but it seems that there isn't.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Neither U.S. nor China or North Korea want to have a fight in their lands. Japan may become a convenient place for them to use as battlegrounds without harming their own people. U.S. Forces in Japan are not here to defend Japan. They are here for their own benefits.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

If you look at how abe and the LDP are handling this pandemic

Has any nation or political party on Earth "handled" the pandemic? I am no fan of the LDP at all, but the Covid 19 response hardly seems like a point for criticism.

What is a good point for criticism is their moves toward offensive militarization like this. After rampaging across Asia, Japan needs to keep up its position as a non-threat. Amassing offensive weapons would be a huge mistake as are recent weapon sales to foreign countries. Its also bad enough having U.S. armed forces here painting a target on Japan.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

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