Japan Planning To Build Missiles Capable Of Striking North Korea

(Photo by HIRO KOMAE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Japan is planning to build new missiles that would allow it to preemptively strike North Korea in the event of a credible threat from the communist regime there. 

The proposal was approved by lawmakers in Tokyo Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Officials in Japan have been reviewing their military defense capabilities against North Korea in light of further missile development by Kim Jong-Un’s regime, the WSJ reports. 

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi says the country wants to develop the capability to strike from beyond the reach of its opponents. The new plan includes the construction of two new Aegis ships for missile defense, reports the WSJ. (RELATED: Biden’s Pentagon Pick Lloyd Austin Was Accused Of Downplaying ISIS Threat)

The Japanese military has reportedly already set aside funds to purchase multiple Norwegian and American missiles with ranges of up to 550 miles. They have also looked at a new Type 12 missile developed by Mitsubishi, according to former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. 

The move has come with some political pushback due to Japan’s history with military buildup and its more recent commitment to peace. Opposition lawmaker Jun Azumi said he is concerned that the new plan “deviates from the defense policy that Japan has maintained throughout the postwar era,” the Journal reports. 

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made military buildup a key focus of his leadership, including a late emphasis on missile development before he left office, reports the Journal. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s top aide, Katsunobu Kato, said Wednesday the new missile system is “not aimed at attacking enemy bases,” according to the WSJ. (RELATED: ‘Augmented Soldiers’: Ethics Boards Approve Bionic Commandos In France)

Some in the ruling party, however, want Tokyo to make it clear that they are willing to preemptively strike Pyongyang in the event that a threat is detected from the DPRK, the Journal reports. One lawmaker reportedly said that the new missiles could also be used to protect against China in the two Asian powers’ various territorial disputes.