Japan wants to develop missiles

September 06, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

Threat from N.Korea, China: Abe’s adviser

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe

Japan faces an unprecedented threat to its existence from North Korea’s possession of hydrogen bomb, said an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Speaking at an event organised by a think tank, Katsuyuki Kawai indicated that Japan faced twin nuclear threats from North Korea and “expansionist” China and, therefore, wanted 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 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles and cruise missiles to deal with the threat we are facing,” said Mr. Kawai who is in town to lay the grounds for an upcoming visit by Prime Minister Abe.

Call for rollback

Mr. Kawai indicated that North Korean thermo-nuclear tests had shaken the security arrangement in East Asia which came up following the Second World War. Tokyo was 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. “The situation is so serious that we will not be secure if North Korea gives up its ICBM programme. We are demanding total rollback 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 on the India-China border. Mr. Kawai welcomed the end of the standoff at Doklam. “Both India and China have disengaged their army 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 was likely to be on Mr. Abe’s agenda.

Japanese media reports have indicated that Mr Abe will visit India between September 12 and 14 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 visited India last week, laying the ground for Abe-Modi talks on railways and infrastructure.

Talks with Modi

The Abe-Modi talks would be the first major opportunity for Japan to share its concerns on the North Korean developments with India, which had deplored the recent hydrogen-bomb test by North Korea. “We hope our security environment which began after the Second World War will continue, but we are also thinking of what we can do to counter the threats,” he said.

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