Minister considers Japan defense upgrade

Japan's defense minister has expressed a readiness to consider ways to drastically enhance the country's defense capabilities, including the possibility of acquiring the ability to carry out counterstrikes.

Hamada Yasukazu, who took up the post of defense minister for the second time earlier this month, met reporters on Monday.

He said the international community has entered a new crisis phase that presents the greatest challenge since World War Two, with law and order being seriously undermined.

He noted that nearby nations possess a considerable number of ballistic missiles that could reach Japan in an extremely short period of time and pose a grave threat to lives and property.

Hamada said the ministry would not only bolster the country's ability to intercept missiles, but would also assess every possible means of ensuring that Japan is fully equipped to protect people's lives and livelihoods.

He said this would include consideration of counterstrike capabilities.

The minister pointed to the opportunity for a comprehensive review of defense capabilities alongside revisions to Japan's security strategy and other defense documents to be carried out by year-end.