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Japan Edges Toward Military Pre-emptive Strike Option

In Japan, ruling-party lawmakers are fighting for Japan’s military to have the ability to strike foreign missile launch sites in order to mitigate the threat posed by potential attacks from North Korea and China. The proposal was released on Friday on behalf of the Liberal Democratic Party’s defense policy committee. The group has been pushing for restrictions on Japan’s military to be loosened in response to the growing threat of China and North Korea.

Japan’s National Security Council will review the request in August when it re-assesses defense policies. Proponents of the measures claim that they will improve deterrence, including the ability to defeat ballistic missiles and similarly destructive weapons. In June, Japan decided to abandon a previous plan to buy a US-made missile defense system, which would have offered Japan nationwide protection against ballistic missiles. Tokyo claimed the cancellation was due to major new costs as well as financial issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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