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Interview

Japan's defense chief calls for 'active use' of combat drones

Nobuo Kishi looks to align Tokyo and Washington's national security priorities

An RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone sits in a hangar at a U.S. Air Force base. Japan has the RQ-4B version but is also considering adopting armed drones.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As unmanned aerial vehicles prove a critical tool in Ukraine's resistance to the Russian invasion, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi has signaled a growing interest in applications for combat drones.

"We will steadily deploy and actively utilize drones as necessary," Kishi said in a written interview with Nikkei. He outlined plans to coordinate more closely with the U.S. on security strategies, to pave the way for improved cooperation in cyberdefense and other emerging national security concerns.

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