Japan Signs Contract For 400 Tomahawk Missiles

Earlier this month, Japan signed a deal with the United States to purchase as many as 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles are part of its effort to boost its military in the face of increased threats from both China and North Korea, the Associated Press reported.

The Japanese government led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to double its defense budget to about 10 trillion yen ($68 billion US) a year by 2027, making Japan the world’s third-biggest defense spender after the US and China.

In December, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara announced that Japan would accelerate the deployment of Tomahawks and Japanese-made Type-12 missiles to start in FY2025 rather than FY2026.

According to Japanese officials, the country faces its “severest” threat since World War Two due to the danger from North Korea and China. As a result, Japan has increased its military cooperation with the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and other allies.

The United States approved the sale of 200 Block IV Tomahawk missiles and 200 upgraded Block V Tomahawks to Japan for $2.35 billion in November. The missiles can be launched from warships to reach targets 1,000 miles away.

The January 18 signing of the sale was attended by US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and Defense Minister Kihara.

The ambassador said Japanese service members would begin training on the Tomahawks in March.

The Japanese are accelerating their deployment of long-range cruise missiles that could reach targets in both North Korea and China. Meanwhile, Japanese troops are increasingly working with the US and other allied forces to adopt more offensive roles.

In his remarks after the purchase deal was signed, Ambassador Emanuel said that Japan, along with the United States, South Korea, Australia, and other regional partners, joined in “an aligned vision” to “promote peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.” He said the United States views its partnership with Japan as “one of ensuring deterrence.”