October 24, 2017

RISING SUN: Japan Needs Long-Range Strike Capabilities.

To boost its deterrence capabilities, Japan should consider being even more proactive. It should, in fact, contemplate acquiring the capability to strike enemy territory with long-range strike capabilities. Under the notion that Japan should not simply wait around to die if an enemy were preparing to attack, the Ichiro Hatoyama administration argued in 1956 that having capabilities that could strike enemy missile sites was theoretically within the constitutional right of self-defense. This interpretation even applied to Japanese strikes against another country before a missile is launched at Japan. Subsequent administrations have adhered to this interpretation, meaning Japan can constitutionally possess long-range strike capability. As a matter of policy, however, its governments have not tried to acquire them. It may be time to move beyond the theoretical.

We wouldn’t be having a conversation about expanding Japan’s offshore military capabilities if China hadn’t allowed North Korea to go Full Rogue on nuclear weapons — but it’s not too late for Beijing to act.

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