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Proposal allowing Japan to hit bases likely to prove contentious

Possible response to North Korean threat raises constitutionality, cost concerns

| Japan

TOKYO -- As Japan's Defense Ministry weighs whether to acquire the ability to strike enemy bases, it will need to persuade skeptics inside and outside the country that the idea is consistent with Japan's pacifist principles.

This strategy, now being considered in light of the growing threat posed by North Korea, would involve destroying enemy missile bases, rather than shooting down the missiles themselves. This could potentially occur not only after a launch, but also when an imminent launch has been detected or when missiles are being prepared for an attack.

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