Japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles – ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat. With revisions to Japan’s defense plans underway, ruling party hawks are accelerating the moves, and some defense experts say Japan should at least consider them.

Japan has a two-step missile defense system, including interceptors on destroyers in the Sea of Japan that would shoot down projectiles mid-flight and if that fails, surface-to-air PAC-3s on land. In a pre-emptive strike, by Japanese definition, cruise missiles, such as Tomahawk, READ MORE