Japan is considering partially classifying its chief defense document in the wake of “security threats by China and Russia,” Kyodo News reported on Saturday, citing government sources.
Making the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), the country’s 10-year military buildup policy, secret would be in line with the mostly classified US National Defense Strategy and would allow Tokyo to be “more specific” in making contingency plans involving North Korea, the sources told the Japanese news agency. The government in Tokyo will review the current defense guidelines, which are publicly available, by the end of the year, focusing on whether Japan can acquire weapons to launch counterstrikes on enemy bases, Kyodo News wrote.
The matter is a sensitive issue, given Japan’s defense-oriented constitution that explicitly renounces war.
“Having a document similar to the [US] National Defense Strategy is requisite,” a lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was quoted as saying.