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Report: Japan's LDP discussed targeting enemy bases

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to strengthen Tokyo's military in recent years. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to strengthen Tokyo's military in recent years. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Japan could be considering an attack weapon that can hit enemy bases in the event of war, according to a local press report.

Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party held a meeting to discuss whether the country needs weapons for a counterattack against enemy forces.

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Japan's military currently does not deploy a counterattack weapon and its troops, the self-defense forces, are banned from solving international conflicts through violence.

The meeting was held in November when the LDP was addressing the issue of North Korean weapons tests. At the time, Japan had counted 13 instances of North Korean weapons launches for the year.

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Ruling party politicians suggested the government should take actions to show the country has zero tolerance for North Korean provocations, and signal to Pyongyang of consequences, according to the Yomiuri.

Motoo Hayashi, deputy secretary-general of the LDP, asked rhetorically whether Japan would need a capability "to counterattack enemy bases," and Toshihiro Nikai, LDP secretary-general, had nodded in response.

A Japanese foreign ministry official present at the meeting then reportedly said Japan's Constitution does not ban the use of counterattack capabilities, but counterattack is yet to become "policy."

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"It requires political judgment," the official said, according to the Japanese newspaper.

The Yomiuri also reported Japan plans to equip F-15 fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles featuring greater standoff defense capabilities by fiscal year 2021.

Japan is also working on the development of a weapon that launches an electromagnetic-pulse attack against enemy power grids and communication lines, the report says. The EMP would pre-emptively disable North Korea's missile capabilities, a Japanese SDF source said.

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Japan is also looking to launch a space mission unit, according to DefenseWorld.net on Tuesday.

Japan must defend itself from threats in cyberspace and from electromagnetic interference against Japanese satellites, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

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