Japan PM Wants First-Strike Capabilities

Officials argue the strikes would increase deterrence

Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has taken the Japanese defenses policy away from its post-war pacifism to a growing military with an increasingly loose sense of self-defense. A week before stepping down, he’s talking taking it a step farther.

Abe now says he wants Japan to have “first-strike” capabilities to attack enemy bases around the area. Abe argued that would increase deterrence, meaning this is the ultimate extension of “self-defense,” where the nation would be flagrantly attacking other countries and claiming defense.

Abe suggested intercepting missiles was no longer sufficient, and called for a new revised defense policy. With Japan’s two main rivals being China and North Korea, any Japanese first strikes would likely start a major war.

Abe’s call is likely to be supported by his successor, with his party’s leadership largely leaning hawkish, particularly when it comes to China. Given US hostility toward China, it’s likely the US will push them toward this action as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.