Japan plans to buy US Tomahawk missiles to bolster deterrence

Tokyo, Oct 28 (EFE).- Japan is considering acquiring United States Tomahawk cruise missiles to increase its deterrent power, government sources announced Friday, as part of the tightening of its defense strategy.

The deliberations on the purchase of Tomahawks missiles, with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, emerged during talks the Japanese Executive is carrying out while outlining its new defense plan, which it will announce at the end of this year, according to local news agency Kyodo news.

In this renewal of its defensive strategy, Tokyo intends to turn 180 degrees and acquire “counter-attack capabilities” in the face of possible attacks in the current security context, with the war in Ukraine, the growing tension between Taiwan and China, and the launches at the fast pace of North Korea.

Japan has been trying to develop its own standoff missiles, capable of attacking enemy ships from outside their firing range and being fired not only from land, but also from ships and planes, something strategically convenient for the island nation.

To achieve this, the country plans to extend the range of the Ground Self-Defense Forces Type 12 surface-to-ship guided missiles, but there is still some way to go in this regard.

The Japanese-developed missiles are not expected to be deployed until at least 2026, so the government is exploring how to accelerate its deterrent capabilities in the increasingly worrying security environment and resorting to Tomahawk missiles would be one of its ideas, according to government sources.

It plans to approve a new National Security Strategy toward the end of the year, in which the concept of counter-attack capabilities would be formalized, among other innovations aimed at reinforcing the national military potential.

Within the framework of this rearmament trend, the Kishida Administration would seek to lay the foundations for a budget increase in the defense item so that it progressively reaches around 2 percent of the Japanese gross domestic product, compared to the current 1 percent, which would place it at the level of spending by NATO countries. EFE


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