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Japan Pursues Tomahawk Missile Purchase in $320B Military Buildup

tomahawk missile

Newly appointed Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday to discuss the congressional approval process for Japan’s planned Tomahawk cruise missile purchase.

According to Kihara, the Japan Ministry of Defense decided to purchase the U.S. Tomahawks to beef up its counterstrike capabilities while still working on completing the development and manufacture of its own standoff missiles.

In December 2022, Tokyo unveiled its missile purchase plan under a five-year, $320 billion military buildup described by media outlets as Japan’s biggest since World War II and the world’s third-largest after the United States and China.

In his meeting with Kihara at the Pentagon, Secretary Austin, a 2023 Wash100 winner, expressed his support for Japan’s defense buildup program and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the East Asian country’s security.

According to Japan Times, the missile purchase is now programmed for fiscal 2025, pushed a year ahead of the original plan because of rising security tensions in Asia. In the revised plan, Japan will split its order of 400 Tomahawk missiles into Block IV and Block V, with Block IV to be acquired as early as between 2025 and 2027.

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