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Japan walks back year-end strike capability decision deadline as election looms

The Japan Times

The government will drop its plan to reach a conclusion by the end of the year on whether Japan should acquire the capability to strike enemy bases, including missile launch sites, it was learned Tuesday. With a House of Representatives election due within a year, the Liberal Democratic Party-led government plans to place emphasis on electoral cooperation between the LDP and Komeito, the junior ruling coalition partner, which is cautious about Japan holding the strike capability, government and ruling coalition sources said. In a statement issued before his resignation in September, then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested that the government would outline its policy on the strike capability after talks with the ruling parties. In view of the improvement of North Korea's nuclear and missile capacity, Abe questioned Japan's current defense system that relies solely on missile interception, and stressed the need for strengthening deterrence. Reflecting Abe's stance, the Defense Ministry and the National Security Secretariat are looking at the possibility of revising the government position that Japan will never possess equipment aimed at attacking enemy bases.

LDP to propose enemy base strike capability as part of Japan security review

The Japan Times

A Liberal Democratic Party national security panel has agreed to propose acquiring a so-called enemy base strike capabilities ahead of a planned revision to its National Security Strategy this year -- a dramatic shift in the country's exclusively defense-oriented policy under the pacifist Constitution. Members of the LDP's Research Commission on National Security told reporters Monday that there was no opposition to the controversial idea of possessing the capabilities during their meeting to discuss the party's proposal, which will be made later in the month for the revision of the NSS. The review of the long-term security guideline coincides with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has added to fears that China could be emboldened to pursue unification with Taiwan by force. Advances in North Korea's ballistic missile program have also raised doubts about the defense capabilities of Japan, which relies heavily on the United States' military presence. Some panel members also called for a rewording of the term "enemy base strike capability" in a bid to emphasize that such means of counterattack would be purely for deterrence and defensive purposes.

Syrian Army Says 'Enemy' Rocket Attacks Strike at Military Bases

U.S. News

An opposition source said one of the locations hit was an army base known as Brigade 47 near Hama city, widely known as a recruitment center for Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias who fight alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Kishida says enemy base strike capabilities are an option to boost defense

The Japan Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that Japan will strengthen its necessary defense power and consider all options, including the acquisition of enemy base strike capabilities. In a speech at a Ground Self-Defense Force base, Kishida expressed concern about North Korea's rapid development of missile technology and China's military expansion. When Japan revises its foreign and security policies, Kishida said all options will be on the table including the idea of giving the Self-Defense Forces the capability to strike hostile enemy bases. Kishida said Japan "cannot overlook (North Korea's) recent development and improvement of new technologies such as hypersonic glide weapons and missiles with irregular orbits." He also said China continues to strengthen its military "without sufficient transparency" and is making "unilateral attempts to change the status quo."

Japan PM to step up defence amid China, North Korea threats

Al Jazeera

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has renewed his pledge to consider "all options," including acquiring enemy base strike capability to protect the country amid growing threats from China and North Korea. Kishida said at his first troop review on Saturday that the security situation in the region is rapidly changing and that "the reality is severer than ever," with North Korea continuing to test-fire ballistic missiles while advancing its capability, and China pursuing a military buildup and increasingly assertive activity in the region. "I will consider all options, including possessing so-called enemy base strike capability, to pursue strengthening of defence power that is necessary," Kishida said in an address to hundreds of Ground Self-Defense Force members in olive-coloured helmets and uniforms. Kishida, who took office in October, served as top commander for the first time at Saturday's Self-Defense Force troop review held at the main army base Camp Asaka, north of Tokyo. About 800 troops gathered for the inspection, according to the Ministry of Defense.