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Japan ruling party proposes strike capability to halt enemy missile attacks

A ruling party committee on Friday approved a proposal for Japan to acquire capabilities to halt ballistic missile attacks within enemy territory, bringing the pacifist nation a step closer to acquiring weapons able to strike North Korea.

The proposals, crafted by senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers including former defense minister Itsunori Onodera, will be presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as early as next week.

“It is an urgent that we form a team to discuss, and deliver our party’s thought to the government,” said Onodera at his opening remarks of the meeting.

Giving long range munitions to Japan’s Self Defence Forces is a controversial issue for a country that renounced the right to wage war after its defeat in World War Two. The proposal could also anger China and Russia, which could fall within range of any new strike weapons.

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