U.S. fretting over Japan’s desire to militarily strike enemy bases

The United States has expressed concern about Japan’s desire to acquire the ability to attack enemy bases in an overhaul of its defense policies pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a government source said in Tokyo.

The U.S. official conveyed Washington’s message that Tokyo should not further worsen relations with China and South Korea that have been plagued for months by territorial rows, as well as the issue of Japan’s wartime aggression.

Tokyo is currently compiling new defense guidelines, an interim report of which stated last month that Japan should take on a greater regional security role and reinforce its defense capabilities, including enabling the Self-Defense Forces to attack enemy bases.

The proposal comes as Japan faces threats from North Korea’s missile and nuclear development. The government is planning to agree within the year on the long-term guidelines, which would also mention the need to counter China’s increasing military assertiveness.

At the working-level talks July 25, Japanese officials briefed their American counterparts on the interim report. The U.S. officials called for further explanation on what countries and measures Japan is specifically considering while seeking to acquire the ability to strike enemy targets, according to the source.

Full article: U.S. fretting over Japan’s desire to militarily strike enemy bases (The Japan Times)

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