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Japan's Self-Defense Forces are currently not allowed to possess offensive capabilities.   © Reuters

Japan to formally weigh strike capability for self-defense

Defense ministry aims for decision by next summer

| Japan

TOKYO -- The Ministry of Defense will soon begin discussions on whether Japan should gain the ability to strike enemy bases in self-defense amid the rising North Korean nuclear and missile threat, preparing for a major policy review in late 2018.

Japan has maintained no offensive weapons and equipment since the end of World War II as part of a defense-only policy stipulating that it may use force only when attacked -- and even then, to the minimum degree necessary for defending itself.

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