Japan to buy latest Tomahawk missiles from US

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Feb. 15 that the Tomahawk cruise missiles that the country plans to buy from the US will be the latest modification with the ability to evade interception. He said this during his speech at the budget commission of the lower house of parliament.

“Tomahawks”, which our country plans to purchase, are the latest modification. They have various abilities, including the ability to evade interception, ”he said.

Kishida also stressed that the acquisition of cruise missiles is considered from the point of view of the need to increase the country’s defense capability. According to him, Japan needs to have the means of delivering strikes, the range of which will exceed the reach of the attacking means of the alleged enemy.

As the Prime Minister noted, the government of the country must protect “the lives of the Japanese people and their way of life.” In addition, he shared that he feels “a huge responsibility” in this regard.

Earlier, on February 13, it became known that the Japanese government intends to conclude a major contract with the United States for the purchase of Tomahawk cruise missiles. According to the Kyodo agency, Tokyo plans to receive about 500 missiles in fiscal year 2023.

On the same day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said that any threat to the Far East from Japan, including the deployment of hypersonic missiles near the border with Russia, would be followed by an immediate response from the Russian side. According to the diplomat, Moscow has repeatedly protested Tokyo in connection with the increase in dangerous activities near the borders, including joint military exercises with the United States and testing of new types of missiles and other weapons.

On February 5, the United States asked Japan for permission to deploy long-range hypersonic weapons and ground-based Tomahawk cruise missiles on its territory to counter China. According to the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, the new Japanese government may begin full-scale negotiations to accept the proposal in the foreseeable future. In addition, it is not known what type of weapons the countries plan to deploy and in what quantities.

In turn, on February 10, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow would monitor US plans to deploy hypersonic missiles in Japan. She noted that the start of their implementation would mean for Russia a qualitative change in the regional security situation, which would also have a projection on global strategic stability.

On Jan. 14, Kyodo reported that Japan had announced that it would provide 211.3 billion yen ($1.65 billion) for the purchase of U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is assumed that such a step will increase the ability of the country’s self-defense forces to retaliate against enemy bases in the event of a military threat.

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