Japan Wants Long-Range Missiles That Could Reach N Korea, Report Says

07-Dec-2017 Intellasia | Newsweek | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Japan is reportedly looking to acquire long-range missiles that could strike targets in North Korea as the reclusive state continues to threaten the surrounding region with its nuclear programme and missile tests, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. It said the Japanese government was planning to set aside money in its next defense budget that would be dedicated to researching whether its F-15 fighters could launch long-range missiles such as Lockheed Martin’s extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER)– capable of hitting targets as far as 620 miles away. It’s also reportedly interested in a missile with a range of roughly 310 miles made by the Norway-based Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and capable of being carried by the F-35 stealth fighter.

But Japan has a pacificist constitution and neither of these missiles are included in the roughly $46.76 billion budget request already submitted by Japan’s Ministry of Defense. “We are not currently looking at funding for this,” Japanese Defense minister Itsunori Onodera said on Tuesday. “We rely on the United States to strike enemy bases and are not looking at making any changes to how we share our roles.”

With that said, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe– re-elected in October– has signaled a desire to revise his country’s constitution. Specifically, he’s looked at changing Japan’s Article 9 “no war” clause, which has been central to the nation’s identity in the post-World War II era. But the Japanese public is divided over this issue. This conversation occurs as North Korea has become increasingly aggressive and ramped up its long-range missile tests. On September 15 and August 29, Kim Jong Un’s regime fired missiles that flew over Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Last week, North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet. The missile reached an altitude of roughly 2,800 miles– 10 times higher than the International Space Station– and traveled 50 minutes before falling into the sea of Japan.


Japan’s parliament declared North Korea’s missile test an “imminent threat” on Monday and adopted a resolution condemning the most recent launch. “This is a frontal challenge against the international community that must not be tolerated,” the resolution stated. Abe also addressed the upper house, vowing to “take a resolute attitude in our diplomacy.”

“Dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless,” Abe added.




Category: Japan

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