The Guardian (Charlottetown)

Japan considers missiles to counterbal­ance North Korea

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TOKYO — Pacifist Japan took a step closer to acquiring weapons able to strike North Korea on Friday after a ruling party committee approved proposals to consider acquiring strike capability to halt ballistic missile attacks.

Giving long-range munitions to Japan’s Self Defence Forces is a controvers­ial issue for a country that renounced the right to wage war after its defeat in World War Two. The proposal is also likely to anger China and Russia, which could fall within range of any new strike weapons.

“Our country needs to consider ways to strengthen deterrence, including having the capability to halt ballistic missile attacks within the territory of our adversarie­s,” the proposal document said.

The proposals, crafted by senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers including former defence minister Itsunori Onodera, will be presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as early as next week.

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