Japan mulls purchase of up to 500 Tomahawk missiles

Japan is considering buying up to 500 U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missiles by March 2028 as it accelerates preparations to improve counterattack capabilities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Tokyo continues its biggest arms buildup since World War II in the face of Beijing's rapid military modernization, with North Korea firing dozens of missiles over the island nation this year.

Asked about Yomiuri's report, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said no decision had been made on anything.

Japan plans to revise its national security strategy as well as other key defense postures by the end of the year. Japan has already stated it plans to expand the range of land-based missiles as part of a new strategy to give its military the ability to strike distant targets at sea and on land.

The Tomahawk missile can hit targets at a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers, putting parts of China and the Russian Far East within range.

The Nikkei daily separately reported this month that Japan is also considering deploying hypersonic missiles (several times the speed of sound) by 2030 to boost deterrence.

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