According to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency on the 10th, official sources said on Thursday that the Japanese government plans to continue discussions on whether to allow the Self-Defense Forces to acquire the ability to attack foreign bases, but there is no deadline.
The report pointed out that the government led by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiro Kan and his ruling coalition are still far from reaching an agreement, because the ruling coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komeito Party, advocates that the role of the Self-Defense Forces should not be expanded in accordance with Japan’s peace constitution.
It is expected that the Japanese cabinet will approve a plan next week to build two new naval ships equipped with the Aegis missile interception system as a substitute for land-based Aegis.
The source said that the plan would include ongoing discussions on “strengthening (Japan) deterrence”, but did not specifically mention whether Japan would acquire the ability to attack (foreign bases).
There has been a debate in Japan about whether the self-defense forces will acquire external strike capability, which will violate Japan’s peace constitution that abandons war and is completely defense-oriented policies.
Shortly before leaving office in September this year, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the Japanese government would “set a suitable path” for the land-based “Aegis” alternative by the end of this year, and will also find new ways to make Japan less vulnerable to missile attacks.
However, the Gongmingo Party fears that allowing the Self-Defense Forces to gain strike capabilities against foreign bases will reduce its chances in the next House of Representatives election.
According to sources, the plan of the Japanese Aegis ship will also include the development of surface-to-ship missiles with a longer range, which can attack targets from outside the range of enemy missiles.
Opposition lawmakers worry that such so-called “out-of-area missiles” will give the Self-Defense Forces the ability to de facto attack foreign bases.
However, Katshin Kato, the top spokesman of the Japanese government and Chief Cabinet Secretary, denied this statement on Wednesday. He said that the purpose of these weapons is to allow the self-defense forces to respond to threats from a safe distance.