The US has agreed to sell 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles and related equipment to Japan for $2.35 billion. The State Department and the Pentagon’s specialised government agency responsible for supplying military equipment and weapons abroad through intergovernmental contracts, promoting relationships between the US military and other nations, and providing financial and technical assistance to Washington’s foreign defence partners announced this. The missiles will boost Japan’s ability to reach critical targets in China and North Korea.
The transfer of 14 missile control systems, staff training, spare parts, and technical support is envisaged as part of the agreements with Tokyo.
The fulfilment of these agreements, according to the US government, “will contribute to the realisation of US foreign policy and national security goals” in the Indo-Pacific area. According to the State Department and the Pentagon, the sale of missiles will boost Japan’s ability to confront existing and future threats. US officials say the agreement “would not change the underlying military balance” in the region. According to documents, the transaction will “not negatively influence the readiness of the United States defence system.”
The foreign policy department has approved executing these agreements in conformity with national legislation. The United States government has previously informed Congress of its decisions. The legislative branch now has 30 days to scrutinise and potentially block the deals.
Due to the Japanese industry’s difficulty in developing and constructing matching weapons, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida indicated in February that his government planned to purchase up to 400 Tomahawk missiles from the United States. Tokyo had previously requested consent from Washington for 500 missiles, but this number had to be cut due to US production capabilities. The US will supply the most recent Tomahawk variant, with a range of over 1,600 kilometres, which will enter the US Navy in 2021. They will be installed on Japanese Navy ships outfitted with Aegis computerised tracking and guidance systems in fiscal years 2026 and 2027.
The Japanese government approved a new national security plan on December 16 of the previous year. It outlines Japan’s authority to counter attacks against targets on a prospective adversary’s territory. Simultaneously, the document emphasises that preemptive strikes are not permitted. The policy also calls for nearly tripling military spending to 2% of GDP by 2027. The Japanese government intends to enhance the range of its existing “Type-12” missiles, purchase American Tomahawk cruise missiles, and create its own hypersonic weapons to boost the possibility of retaliation strikes.