December 07, 2023

Japan’s new security strategy backs counterstrikes against North Korean attacks

First update in nine years seeks to boost defense spending but identifies China as foremost threat over DPRK

Japan has unveiled a new national security strategy that outlines plans to develop “counterstrike capabilities” and boost defense spending to respond to regional threats like North Korea, in what some view as a departure from its policy focused exclusively on self-defense.

The National Security Strategy (NSS) released Friday states that Pyongyang’s increasing military activities pose a “grave and imminent threat” to national security. It also calls for Japan to develop “counterstrike capabilities” to target enemy territory in the event of an armed attack on Japan with ballistic missiles.