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Japan's ruling party broadens vision for defensive strike option

LDP proposal would extend shield beyond interception and fixed launch sites

A Chinese ballistic missile submarine in the South China Sea: Mobile launchers have made enemy base strike capabilities less effective as a deterrent.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese lawmakers showed support Thursday for developing new systems to head off missile threats in enemy territory, recognizing the limits of an approach that relies purely on intercepting incoming attacks.

The draft recommendation approved by a team in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party does not specifically mention striking enemy bases -- a topic that has been debated since June, when plans to deploy the Aegis Ashore land-based missile shield were suspended -- but implicitly encourages Japan to develop such capabilities.

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