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There is talk of remodeling Izumo-class vessels so they can carry F-35B stealth fighter jets.   © Kyodo

Japan's defense against North Korea hamstrung on several fronts

Trillions of dollars and political finesse needed to meet the lethal new threats

YUKIO TAJIMA and KOYA JIBIKI, Nikkei staff writers | Philippines

TOKYO -- As North Korea raises tensions in the region, Japan's Self-Defense Forces face a number of challenges on how to prepare, including tight budgets, a strained relationship with South Korea, and a national constitution that forbids offensive military action.

To address these issues, the SDF and the Ministry of Defense have set a goal of coming up with an outline to revise Japan's defense policy by the year-end. A medium-term strategy for the period from 2019 to 2023 is also under discussion.

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