TOKYO – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday (27/2/2023) that Japan will buy 400 Tomahawk missiles from the United States (US). The move was announced at a time when Japan is beefing up its defenses to anticipate threats, including from China.
“Our country’s plan is (to acquire) 400 units” of cruise missiles, Kishida told the lower house’s budget committee without elaborating, citing the military sensitivity of the purchase.
Earlier this month, the defense minister said Japan had set aside 211.3 billion yen ($2.4 billion) to buy missiles in the coming fiscal year, rather than splitting up procurement over several years. AFP reported .
Kishida’s government wants to dramatically expand Japan’s defense capacity in the face of China’s growing military might and North Korea’s unexpected nuclear-armed missile test.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also stoked fears that China would take over Taiwan, a self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing.