Japan ruling party group proposes strike capability in enemy territory

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - A Japanese ruling party policy committee on Friday approved a proposal for Japan to have the capability of halting ballistic missile attacks within enemy territory, a document showed.

The proposals, crafted by the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) defence policy committee including former defence minister Itsunori Onodera and other influential former high-ranking defence officials, also call for Japan to have defence capability on par with the cancelled Aegis Ashore missile defence sites.

The LDP will give the recommendations to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as early as next week, which will then be considered by Japan’s National Security Council in August as it formulates Japan’s latest defence policies.

Japan’s Ministry of Defence could decide on specific equipment purchases by the end of the year ahead of their annual budget request, government officials told Reuters. (Reporting by Tim Kelly Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)