Friday, March 1, 2024

Japan has agreed to buy 400 Tomahawk missiles from the US

Japan signed a deal with the United States on Thursday to buy up to 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles as part of an ongoing military build-up in response to rising threats in the region.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government has pledged to double annual defense spending to nearly 10 trillion yen ($68 billion) by 2027, making Japan the world’s third-largest military spender, after the United States and China. .

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara announced in December a decision to accelerate the deployment of some Tomahawks and Japanese-made Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles starting in fiscal 2025, a year earlier than in the original plan. The government says Japan is facing its “worst” security environment since World War II due to threats from China and North Korea, so it is increasing its military cooperation with the United States. , Australia, Britain, and other friendly countries. .

In November, the United States approved a $2.35 billion sale of two types of Tomahawks: 200 Block IV missiles and 200 upgraded Block V versions. It can be launched from warships and hit targets up to 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) away, authorities said. .

The signing of the purchase agreement on Thursday was attended by Kihara and the US ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel.

Japan and the United States agreed to speed up the deployment “in response to the worsening security situation,” Kihara said.

Emanuel said Japanese military training for Tomahawks will begin in March.

Late last year, Japan’s Cabinet relaxed a ban on lethal weapons exports, allowing the sale of weapons and components produced in Japan under license from other countries to those countries. country. The government quickly approved the shipment of Japanese-made Patriot missiles to the United States to augment America’s arsenal.

World Nation News Desk
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