Japan to deploy long-range missiles if US ready to negotiate for it
It may be a possibility that US weaponry would be established in the Indo-Pacific region.
Citing sources, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported that the Japan may deploy US medium-range missiles on its territory if the latter launches official negotiations for it.
Over the past three to four years, the matter was only discussed on the sidelines but never officially discussed between both countries. According to the newspaper, the US pointed to Long Range Hypersonic Weapons (LRHW) and Tomahawk cruise missiles as potential candidates to be deployed.
The source stated that "Such places as the island of Kyushu and others are possible [for deployment],"
It may be a possibility that the stationing the US weaponry would be in the Indo-Pacific region, which conforms with US plans to develop an armament system on the first island chain.
Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida convened with US President Joe Biden to talk about fortifying the military alliance between both nations, during which Kishida insinuated intentions to purchase Tomahawk missiles for strengthening Japan's defense capabilities.
'Strengthen and modernize' the alliance
Japanese media previously reported that the country wants to buy nearly 500 missiles from the US by 2027.
Back in October, Tokyo was considering using Tomahawk missiles as a deterrent and an alternative to Standoff missiles. Tomahawks can hit targets from over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), threatening 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.
The US and Japan have been ramping up joint military work in light of regional tensions between the US and China over Taiwan.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, said in December, that the new policy will "strengthen and modernize" the country's military alliance with the United States. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also stated that the move showed "Japan's staunch commitment to upholding the international rules-based order and a free and open Indo-Pacific."
Tokyo is eyeing its biggest arms buildup since World War Two, intensifying tensions with China, while increasing its coordination with the West in the Asia Pacific region.
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