Japan to buy long-range missiles | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 09, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 09, 2017

NORTH KOREA THREAT

Japan to buy long-range missiles

Japan plans to purchase offensive air-to-surface missiles to counter North Korea's rising military threat, its defence minister said yesterday, a move likely to stir debate over its decades-long pacifist policy.

Itsunori Onodera said the ministry intends to request a special budget for the fiscal year starting April 2018 to purchase long-range cruise missiles deployed on fighter jets.

According to local media, the ministry plans to buy JASSM and LRASM long-range, air-to-ground missiles with a range of some 900 kilometres from US firms.

It also plans to buy Joint Strike Missiles with a range of some 500 kilometres from Norway's Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, news reports said.

The move will likely draw controversy as Tokyo has long maintained an exclusively defence-oriented policy under its pacifist constitution, which bans the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

Japan's military policy has been restricted to self-defence and relies heavily on the US to attack enemy territory under the Japan-US security alliance.

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