The 12-page summary of proposals made by a subcommittee of the LDP’s defense policy-making panel on May 26 argue that Japan could use sea-launched cruise missiles in pre-emptive strikes against a hostile nation’s missile sites, having first detected launch preparations in that enemy state with surveillance satellites. The proposals are expected to be officially finalized on June 3.
Japan would not be forced to “just sit and wait for its own death”, read the document obtained by Asia Times Online. Such measures would have to remain “within the scope of Japan’s defense-only policy,” it continued, stressing that the pre-emptive strikes could be used to prevent an imminent attack.
In response to a lawmaker’s question as to whether Japan has right to launch pre-emptive strikes against missile sites after detecting launch preparations in an enemy state with a spy satellite, Prime Minister Taro Aso said: “As long as it is evident that there are no other measures, striking the enemy’s missile bases is guaranteed under the Constitution. It falls within the scope of self-defense. It’s different from pre-emptive attacks.”</blockquote>
You have to wonder how sustainable this technique of shoehorning contingencies into the constrictions of Japan’s constitution will be. Consider the recent reports of an impending North Korean ICBM test some time in mid June. At some point, should North Korea continue this tantrum of military showmanship, Japan will likely consider measures well beyond their “pacifist” constitution. The assertions of former air force chief, Toshio Tamogami, once seen as extreme or taboo, may well find teeth in the Japanese mainstream.