Japan has called for the right to carry out pre-emptive strikes for the first time since World War Two in the wake of North Korean aggression.

Politicians in Japan have argued for the technically pacifist country to have the ability to strike North Korea rather than relying on the US for its defence.

The reclusive state has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

Hiroshi Imazu, the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s security committee, told the Washington Post: ‘Japan can’t just wait until it’s destroyed.

‘It’s legally possible for Japan to strike an enemy base that’s launching a missile at us, but we don’t have the equipment or the capability.’

He added: ‘Our country is protected by other countries, but we can’t do anything to protect them. This is not acceptable in the international community anymore.’

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