Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Prime Minister said, His country (Japan) will purchase 400 Tomahawk missiles from the United States, as his government strengthens the country’s defenses with eyes on threats including China.
Japan’s PM told the lower house budget committee without elaborating, citing the military sensitivity of the purchase, “Our country’s plan is to acquire 400 units” of the cruise missile.
Earlier this month, the defense minister said Japan has set aside 211.3 billion yen ($1.5 billion) to buy the missiles in the coming fiscal year, rather than dividing the purchasing over several years.
Kishida’s government wants to dramatically raise Japan’s defense capacity in the face of China’s increasing military force and nuclear-armed North Korea’s surprising missile tests.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also stoked worries that China may move to take over Taiwan, a self-governed democracy claimed by Beijing.
Japan has a pacifist post-war constitution, which limits its military capacity to ostensibly defensive measures.
But last year it updated key security and defense guidelines, explicitly outlining the challenge posed by China and setting a goal of doubling defense spending to the NATO standard of two percent of GDP by 2027.