The country plans to improve the range of its anti-ship missiles from 100 kilometers to a thousand kilometers, which would allow them to reach Chinese coastal areas as well as North Korea.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an inspection in Tokyo. Kiyoshi Ota/POOL/AFP

Japan plans to deploy more than a thousand long-range cruise missiles to increase its ability to counter China’s growing regional ambitions, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday. The country plans to improve the range of its anti-ship missiles from 100 kilometers to a thousand kilometers, which would allow them to reach Chinese coastal areas as well as North Korea, the daily said. , citing unnamed sources.

Improvements will also be needed to allow Japanese ships and planes to have the ability to launch these new missiles which would be likely to hit ground targets, according to the same source. The missiles would be deployed in and around the southwestern region of Kyushu and on small islands in southwestern Japanese waters near Taiwan, Yomiuri Shimbun reported. AFP could not immediately contact the Japanese authorities for comment on this information.
Military investments limited by the Constitution

This project aims to reduce the disparity between Japan and China in terms of missiles while dealing with threats from North Korea, according to the newspaper. By virtue of its pacifist Constitution drafted and coming into force shortly after World War II under the American occupation of the country, Japan is not supposed to have a military as such, and its military investments are theoretically limited to defensive means. .

Due to recent international tensions, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing pressure on Taiwan, there have been calls for Japan to review its defense programs. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised to significantly increase defense spending, which so far stands at around 1% of GDP.

Japanese media also reported that the Japanese Defense Ministry is expected to request a budget of 5.5 trillion yen (43.6 billion euros) for the next fiscal year, up slightly from 5.18 trillion for the year. current tax. The ministry is also expected to seek approval for a list of unpriced items, including the cost of development to upgrade long-range cruise missiles, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.

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