Japan intends to buy foreign long-range missiles for the first time in response to the growing national security threat.
Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. Photo: Reuters.
Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera yesterday announced that the country would buy long-range missiles to increase its defense against security threats, according to CNN.
“We will deploy missiles capable of protecting ourselves from beyond the enemy’s range, to ensure the safety of the Defense Force and effectively protect the nation,” said Onodera.
Japan will buy two types of missiles, the Lockheed Martin JASSM Long-Range Destroyer Missile and Lockheed Martin’s JASSM surface-to-air missile, to be mounted on the F-15 fighter, according to a spokesman for Minister Onodera’s office.
In addition, Japan will also buy Joint Attack Missiles (JSM) from the Norwegian company Kongsberg to equip the F-35 stealth fighter that has just been entered into the Japan Air Defense Force.
The Japanese government will add the financial requirements to the 2018 budget package to make these missile purchases.
Minister Onodera did not directly mention the dangers of Japan’s national security, but the security situation in East Asia is increasingly strained due to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea on November 29 tested its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, claiming this missile can reach every major US city. On August 29 and September 15, a siren sounded in Japan as two Korean rockets flew over the northern territories before crashing into the Pacific Ocean.