The US is considering deploying new missiles to Japan as part of its buildup aimed at China, the Japanese Sankei reported on Saturday.
The report cited sources involved in US-Japan relations and said the US might deploy medium-range missiles but is also considering sending Tomahawk missiles or long-range Hypersonic weapons, which are still under development.
The location for the missile deployment hasn’t been chosen, but they are considering Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island. The deployment would align with a Pentagon plan to place long-range missiles along the first island chain, which stretches from southern Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and down to Malaysia.
Tomahawk missiles have a range of over 1,000 miles, and Japan is planning to purchase about 500 of its own Tomahawks as part of Tokyo’s unprecedented military buildup. The plan involves doubling Japan’s military spending over the next five years, which would make Japan’s defense budget the third-highest in the world.
The US is encouraging Japan’s military buildup, which breaks from Tokyo’s US-imposed constitution that limits the Japanese military to strictly defensive purposes. US and Japanese officials recently announced new steps to boost military ties, including the deployment of a US Marine Corps unit in Okinawa’s islands that will be armed with anti-ship missiles.