As the threat from North Korea’s missiles grows, so the calls in Japan for a stronger military response are getting louder.

An influential group of politicians is publicly arguing for technically pacifist Japan to acquire the ability to strike North Korea instead of having to rely on the United States for its defense.

“Japan can’t just wait until it’s destroyed,” Hiroshi Imazu, the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s security committee and a proponent of the idea, said in an interview. “It’s legally possible for Japan to strike an enemy base that’s launching a missile at us, but we don’t have the equipment or the capability.”

Gen Nakatani, defense minister until last year and a member of the committee, agrees. “I believe that we should consider having the capacity to strike,” he told The Washington Post.

Their public pronouncements have not come out by accident, analysts say. Such senior members of the powerful ruling party would not raise the issue unless it was being promoted at the highest levels.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe publicly supports consideration of the idea.


This article is courtesy of The Washington Post.