Ruling parties launch discussions on revision of 3 key security-related documents

The Yomiuri Shimbun
LDP Vice President Taro Aso, fourth from left, and other senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito attend a meeting on the revision of security-related documents at the Diet on Tuesday.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito have kicked off discussions on the revision of three security-related documents including the National Security Strategy.

The joint council discussing the revisions aims to reach an agreement on such issues as the possession of counterstrike capabilities to attack enemy missile launch sites for the purpose of self-defense.

The council, which held its first meeting Tuesday, is headed by LDP Vice President Taro Aso and Kazuo Kitagata, deputy chief of Komeito. It comprises five members from each party, including party secretary generals and policy research council chiefs.

The discussions of the council will effectively determine the direction of the three documents, as the government intends to reflect the council’s proposals in the documents, which are scheduled to be revised by the end of the year.

“We’ll have thorough discussions on such issues as financial resources [for defense spending], and cyber and economic security,” Kitagata said at Tuesday’s meeting in the Diet, stressing that a wide range of issues will be on the table.

The three documents that serve as guidelines for the government’s security policy comprise the National Security Strategy, a basic guideline for foreign and defense policy covering the next 10 years; the National Defense Program Guidelines, which outline the role of the Self-Defense Forces and the direction of their development; and the Mid-term Defense Program, which outlines a specific policy for the procurement of defense equipment and other policies.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the simultaneous revision of the three documents in October, last year.