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Proposal for New National Defense Program Guidelines approved at the joint meeting of the Defense Division, Research Commission on Security, and the Special Committee on Military Bases

June 9, 2009

The Defense Division and the Subcommittee on Defense Policies put forward a proposal June 9th regarding the new National Defense Program Guidelines that the government is scheduling to revise by the end of 2009. The proposal was approved at the joint meeting of Defense Division, Research Commission on Security, and the Special Committee on Military Bases, held the same day.

The main points of the proposal are:
  • Against the background of North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches, Japan should not be a passive observer. The country must possess the capability to attack enemy missile bases while at the same time continue to operate within the framework of the existing Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
  • Japan would continue to maintain both its self-defense stance toward national security and its three non-nuclear principles, for the purpose of the proposal is not for Japan to become a military power. Moreover, a preemptive strike does not fall within the scope of country’s self-defense policy. Regarding the interception of ballistic missiles that may target the US, the proposal seeks a re-interpretation of the meaning of “the right of collective self-defense”.
  • Among other initiatives proposed were: the establishment of a Japanese National Security Council, the strengthening of intelligence gathering activities overseas through the formation of an intelligence service reporting directly to the Cabinet, the review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports, and the consideration of the use of space for defense purposes.
  • In addition, a review of the defense capacity reduction policy in operation since the adoption of the guidelines in 1995 was requested.

The Proposal was submitted to Prime Minister Taro Aso.

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