Kishida: Japan Must Have System To Show Counterstrikes Not Preemptive Attacks

Kishida: Japan must have system to show counterstrikes not preemptive attacks

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says Japan must set up a system that clearly shows its counterstrikes are not pre-emptive attacks, when the country faces missile attacks.

Kishida said at an Upper House budget committee meeting on Wednesday that Japan must be fully-equipped to protect people's lives and livelihoods amid rapidly evolving missile and other technologies.

He said Japan will keep working to boost its missile-interception systems, but other options, including capabilities to launch counterstrikes, should not be ruled out.

Kishida added that his government hopes to reach a conclusion on the matter by the end of the year, based on a report by a government panel of experts and discussions between the ruling parties, and others.

An opposition lawmaker argued that it is difficult to differentiate between counterstrikes and pre-emptive attacks.

The prime minister said there are various theories about pre-emptive attacks under international law, and yardsticks differ from country to country.

Kishida said Japan needs to establish a system that clearly shows its counterstrikes are not pre-emptive attacks.

He pledged his utmost efforts to provide explanations to the Diet and the public.