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The government considered arming itself with Tomahawk cruise missiles to pre-empt ballistic missile attacks but gave up because it would contradict the postwar policy of not maintaining an offensive capability, former Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba said Monday.

In an interview with The Japan Times, Ishiba said the government has noted the “effectiveness” of Tomahawk missiles and discussed the possibility of acquiring them, based on the assumption that such weapons “may remain within the confines of the minimum necessary force for self-defense.”

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