Japan sees preemptive airstrikes as ‘self-defense’ — Analysis

Defense Minister argues that airstrikes on foreign soil could fall under the country’s strict self-defense policy

Japan has reserved the right to conduct preemptive airstrikes against enemies, with Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi making the case that such attacks could fall under the country’s strict post-World War II ‘self-defense’ policy.

On Wednesday, Kishi stated that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of airstrikes against foreign soil to defend Japan from any possible missile attack. Kishi claimed that “it would fall within the scope of self-defense”To send Japanese aircraft into enemy airspace in order to strike targets, he promised that Japan would not. “possess military capabilities that by themselves would annihilate an opponent,”Intercontinental ballistic missiles are an example.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, clarified Kishi’s comments following the hearing, claiming that “the intent is that no option will be ruled out if it falls within the scope of the constitution and international law.”

Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, stated previously in October that Japan will “consider all possible options, including enemy base strike capabilities,”Should the country be under attack.

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Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have protected Japan since 1954. These forces strictly follow a policy of not using force to defend Japan from imminent attack. Tokyo, however, is seeking to increase militarization in the recent years.

Japan had earlier this year signed an agreement. “landmark” defense deal with Australia, committing to enhanced cooperation. Reciprocal Access Agreement gives Australia second right after the US the ability to send troops to Japan. Also, soldiers from Japan can train or be stationed here.

Tensions have been rising between Japan and China in recent times, due to the ongoing spat between the two countries over uninhabited islands within the East China Sea. Japan believes that Chinese intrusions in the Senkaku Islands area are provocative.

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Large-scale military drills were also held by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the United States recently in this region. Tokyo, in collaboration with the Americans, has created a draft plan for jointly protecting Taiwan. Beijing claimed Taiwan to be an integral part China’s territory. Japan’s deputy PM said that an attack on the island would threaten Japan’s territorial sovereignty.

Furthermore, North Korea’s recent missile testing towards the Sea of Japan has raised concern in Tokyo.

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