US voices objections to Japan’s plan to ensure “preemptive strike capabilities”

Posted on : 2013-10-05 13:16 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Washington appears unenthusiastic about becoming involved in military issue that could draw objection from South Korea
 before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo
before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo

By Gil Yun-hyung, Tokyo correspondent

Washington expressed opposition to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambitious plan to ensure “enemy base strike capabilities” for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).

According to an Oct. 4 report in the Asahi Shimbun, US government secretaries responded unenthusiastically to the plan for responding to North Korean nuclear and missile threats, which would give the JSDF the ability to strike enemy bases, when it was explained to them at the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee Meeting the day before. The so-called “2+2” meeting in Tokyo brought together the two countries’ foreign and defense ministers for talks.

The newspaper also noted that the topic was not mentioned at all in the joint statement or press conference after the meeting.

In an interview, Michael Green, the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the newspaper that “the [Barack] Obama administration does not want to become involved” in an issue that would likely draw objections from Seoul.

“Even if Japan possessed the capability to attack enemy bases, it would be limited so it would be the United States that would have to deal with any counterattack,” Green added.

The guidelines that assign the roles of the US and Japan in the event of a war or other emergency call for the former to be the “spear” for attacking the enemy, and the latter to be the “shield,” with a focus on defense and rear support.

But the Abe administration has used the North Korean threat as an excuse for maintaining that the amended guidelines should permit the JSDF the ability to carry out its own strikes against adversaries.

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