Counterstrike capacities specified in Japan's draft defense white paper

A draft of Japan's annual defense white paper calls for the country to acquire counterstrike capabilities.

Discussing the security environment surrounding Japan, the draft white paper for 2023 says China is rapidly building up its military capabilities including missiles and nuclear arms, and pressure to unilaterally change the status quo by force is increasing.

It says proactive diplomacy should be the top priority in defending the lives and livelihoods of Japanese people, and that defense capabilities are needed as a guarantee.

It also says Japan should have counterstrike capabilities against missile launch bases to drastically step up its defense. This policy was already included in national security strategies updated late last year.
The draft adds that the government will increase defense spending to two percent of GDP in fiscal 2027, including related costs. It calls for spending an unprecedented 43 trillion yen, or about 310 billion dollars, in the next five years.

The draft also contains a section on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as did last year's edition. It stresses that changing the status quo by force would shake the foundation of the international order, including that of Asia, and should never be allowed.

The defense white paper will be presented to the Cabinet as early as July.