WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Friday approved Japan’s plea to purchase 400 Tomahawk missiles, part of Japan’s bid to bolster defenses in the region.
The US State Department said it was giving approval the $2.35 billion sale that comprises two types of the Tomahawk missiles, which have a 1,600-kilometer range.
The State Department maintained the deal was aimed at “enhancing the security of a key ally that is a force for stability and economic development in the region.”
Washington Approves Major Long-range Missile Agreement for Tokyo
The deal “will enhance Japan’s capacity to meet the present and future threats by giving a long-range, conventional surface-to-surface missile with important standoff range that can address threats in the region,” it said.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida informed a parliamentary committee in February that Tokyo was seeking 400 Tomahawk missiles as part of a major defense drive, AFP reported. Japan has been alarmed by nuclear-armed North Korea’s missile tests and regional threats.
The development comes as Chinese leader Xi Jinping also met in recent days on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in San Francisco with Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida and US President Joe Biden.