Japan announces plans to purchase Tomahawk cruise missiles
Japanese sources reported that Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said that the missiles would be purchased all in one go instead of in separate batches.
Amid rising tensions with neighboring countries China and North Korea, the Kyodo news agency reported Tuesday that Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada announced plans to purchase Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States.
The contract signing is set for April 1st.
Defense Minister Hamada said that the missiles would be purchased in one batch instead of separate batches, Kyodo news agency reported.
According to a source familiar with the situation, the ministry intends to purchase approximately 500 Tomahawks.
The announcement coincides with government plans to boost Japan's "counterstrike capabilities" in order to respond to Chinese and DPRK threats, according to the news agency.
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On December 16, 2022, Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's administration issued three strategic documents: the National Security Strategy (NSS), the National Defense Strategy (NDS), and the Defense Buildup Program.
The NSS describes China "as the greatest strategic challenge" for Japan and the international community. North Korea and Russia are also cited as strategic threats to Japan.
Tomahawks can hit targets from over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can reach parts of China and Russia.
Because US forces have been using Tomahawk missiles in operations for a long time, Tokyo regards them as highly reliable.
According to the report, the government will allocate $1.6 billion in the 2023 budget to purchase Tomahawks.
Japanese sources revealed last month that the government is planning to develop its own cruise missiles this year with interchangeable warheads with a range of over 620 miles.
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