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EDITORIAL: LDP candidates need balanced approaches on foreign policy

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One key policy question in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership race is how to protect Japan’s peace and security as the security landscape in East Asia is threatened by China’s military expansion and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

The four candidates in the Sept. 29 election to choose the LDP’s new president and effectively Japan’s next prime minister should tackle the question with balanced approaches that are not narrowly focused on military capabilities to counter the security threats.

Diplomatic efforts such as international cooperation and direct dialogue should be given equal importance under Japan’s security strategy.

Sanae Takaichi, a former communications minister, has made it clear that she would seek further growth in Japan’s defense spending after seven consecutive years of record initial defense budgets.

Citing such new security threats as anti-satellite weapons and drone attacks, Takaichi said the current defense outlays, slightly over 5 trillion yen ($45.65 billion), are “far from sufficient.”

Takaichi has also pledged to seek new legislation to allow Japan to have the capabilities of striking enemy bases, an idea promoted by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But the pursuit of........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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