The Japanese Defense Ministry told Stars and Stripes that the US is not ready to deploy a variety of new missiles to Japan.
The comments came in response to a report in the Japanese newspaper Sankei that said the US was considering deploying medium-range, Tomahawk, and hypersonic missiles to Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.
The Japanese Defense Ministry said the US was still developing the missiles and that it was too early for the US to decide where they would deploy them. The US Tomahawk missiles have been in use for decades and are typically launched from naval vessels, but the US is still developing hypersonic and ground-launched medium-range missiles.
Ground-launched medium-range missiles were previously prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2019. The INF banned ground-launched missiles that had a range between 310 and 3,400 miles.
According to Stars and Stripes, both the US Army and Marines Corps are now looking at weapons systems that could launch Tomahawk missiles from the ground. Tomahawk missiles have a range of over 1,000 miles. The US Army is testing a prototype Typhon Weapon System, which can fire missiles at ranges between 300 and 1,725 miles.
Japan plans on buying about 500 of its own Tomahawk missiles as part of its plan to double military spending over the next five years. The US is encouraging Japan’s military buildup, which breaks from Tokyo’s post-World War II pacifist constitution, as part of its plans to counter China in the region.