Japan will for the first time buy long-range missiles to counter the country’s “increasingly severe” national security situation, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.
“We will implement stand-off missiles capable of defending ourselves adequately, when we are outside the range of the opponent, in order to ensure the safety of the Self Defense Force and to defend our nation effectively,” Onodera told reporters.
A spokesman from Onodera’s office told CNN Japan will be purchasing missiles from Lockheed Martin to put on its F-15 fighter jets. It will also buy JSM missiles from the Norwegian company Kongsberg, which will be deployed on the new, state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jets.
The spokesman also said Japan will be making an additional request in next year’s budget to make the purchase.
North Korea’s fast-progressing nuclear and missile programs have had Japan and other countries in East Asia on edge. Pyongyang test-fired two missiles that overflew northern Japan this year, which set off warning sirens.
SOURCE: CNN, Kaori Enjoji and Joshua Berlinger