On one hand, the government is speeding up its efforts to enhance deterrence by deciding to move up the planned introduction of long-range missiles that can directly attack military hubs of other nations.

But on the other, decisions on key defense issues have been pushed back as the foundation of the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is shaken by a high-profile scandal over slush funds related to fundraising parties for Liberal Democratic Party factions.

Saturday marked one year since a Cabinet decision related to the government's three key defense-related documents, including the National Security Strategy, which calls on the country to possess counterstrike capabilities.