Japan positive about gaining ability to hit enemy bases; SDF simulation exercises signals at China's naval expansion; Tokyo keeps close watch on China's military build- up; Japan to train Afghan police in Turkey
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  • In a significant statement Japan’s Parliamentary Defense Secretary Akihisa Nagashima has said that Japan should acquire the capacity to strike an enemy's missile launch sites. This statement came in light of threats from North Korea's long-range ballistic missiles. "It is natural that questions arise over whether Japan can sufficiently defend itself without such a capacity," Nagashima told a symposium in Tokyo.1 On the other hand, Japan Defense Ministry sources noted that the Self-Defense Forces will conduct exercises simulating the recapture of an isolated island from enemy forces in December 2010. These drills are viewed as a response to China's recent naval expansion. The exercises will be based on the newly compiled defense program for the Nansei Islands, which includes the Okinawa Islands.2 Meanwhile, Tokyo has also decided to keep a close eye on Beijing's military build-up. This is in response to the US government report warning that China's rising defence power is changing East Asia's military balance. The comment by Japan's defence ministry came after two incidents on the high seas in recent months in which Chinese naval helicopters buzzed Japanese destroyers watching their naval flotillas near Japanese islands.3

    On the international front, the Japanese government has decided to dispatch police personnel to Turkey to train Afghan police officers. The project will be carried out in cooperation with the Turkish government, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and others, using police training facilities in Turkey. This is aimed at both improving security in Afghanistan and indirectly supporting the United States government.4