International

Japan may acquire long-range missiles to counter North Korea threat, says PM’s advisor

Shinzo Abe. File photo

Shinzo Abe. File photo   | Photo Credit: AP

Katsuyuki Kawai says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is concerned about the safety and security of Japanese lives and property

Japan faces unprecedented threat to its existence from North Korea’s possession of hydrogen bomb, said an advisor of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Speaking at an event organised by a think tank, Katsuyuki Kawai indicated that Japan faces twin nuclear threats from North Korea and “expansionist” China and therefore wants to develop long range missiles, ending its post-World War II stance.

"Our national security environment has been drastically changed since the crisis in the Korean peninsula escalated. Under the present conditions Japanese Self Defence Forces may consider acquiring ballistic missiles and cruise missiles to deal with the threat that we are facing," said Mr Kawai who is in town to lay the grounds for an upcoming visit by Prime Minister Abe.

Mr Kawai indicated that North Korean thermo-nuclear tests have shaken the security arrangement in East Asia which came up following the World War II and emphasised that Tokyo is considering all options to deter North Korea's missile and thermo-nuclear capabilities.

"I am sure Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also thinking daily about how to ensure security for Japanese lives and property," he said, and added, "the situation is so serious that we will not be secure if North Korea gives up its ICBM programme. We are demanding total roll back of the nuclear facilities of North Korea."

 

The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India is also significant in view of the recent tension in India-China border. Mr Kawai welcomed the end of the standoff at Doklam and said, "Both India and China have disengaged their militaries at Doklam which is a positive move. This was achieved because of persistence and resilience." But he also pointed out that Japan faces “Chinese expansionist behaviour everyday” hinting that China’s aggressive behaviour is likely to be on Mr Abe’s agenda.

Japanese media reports have indicated that Mr Abe will visit India between 12-14 September when he will hold bilateral discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attend a ceremony to start a high speed railway project. A Japanese advance team has already visited India last week laying the ground for Abe-Modi talks on railways and infrastructure.

The Abe-Modi talks will provide the first major opportunity for Japan to share its concerns on the North Korean developments with India which has deplored the recent hydrogen-bomb test by North Korea.

"We hope our national security environment which began after the World War II will continue but we are also thinking what we can do ourselves to counter the security threats," Mr Kawai said laying out the immediate security concerns for Japan.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 7:08:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/japan-may-acquire-long-range-missiles-to-counter-north-korea-threat-says-pms-advisor/article19624476.ece

Next Story