Japan has hinted at raising defense capabiltiy, citing concern of increasing threat from North Korea and China in the country's defense review Tuesday.
North Korea was cited as the main concern as Japan's Cabinet approved the 2017 Defence White Paper, two weeks after the North test-fired a second ICBM whose range could include some of the US mainland, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
The security review came just a week after defence minister Itsunori Onodera said that he planned to update Japan's defence guidelines to reflect the threat from the North, suggesting he may seek an offensive missile capability.
"North Korea's missile launches have escalated tensions both in terms of quality and quantity. I would like to study if our current missile defence is sufficient just with the Aegis destroyers and (surface-to-air) PAC 3," said Onodera, who headed a ruling party study in March that called for beefing up Japan's missile response capability.
The ICBM North Korea tested July 30 flew on a highly lofted trajectory and landed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off Japan's Hokkaido island.
The 563-page Defence White Paper also raised concerns over China's ongoing assertiveness in air and maritime activity in the regional seas, and raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the country's military buildup with its budget tripling over the past decade.
Meanwhile, China's Xinhua has said that the White Paper contained "irresponsible remarks on China's national defence system," in an attempt to justify Japan's own militarisation.
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