TOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan’s Defense Ministry has begun considering deploying hypersonic missiles by 2030 amid current regional and global security threats, a Japanese newspaper reported Thursday.
A possible deployment of hypersonic missiles should be included in Japan’s revised national security strategy as part of the country’s counterattack capabilities, according to the newspaper. The updated strategy should be adopted by the end of the year.
The newspaper reported that Japan would develop a three-phase plan to strengthen its deterrent capabilities. The first phase would include the acquisition of American Tomahawk cruise missiles. Under the second stage of the plan, Japan will upgrade its Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles from 2026, with the deployment of hypersonic missiles in the third and final stage, which is expected to be achieved by 2030.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense has so far requested 5.595 billion yen ($41.4 billion) in the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2023. It is expected to be the largest defense budget important to the country. Moreover, the requested amount is not considered final, as it only includes expenses that the authorities are willing to disclose. The government has also set specific targets, the costs of which are not made public. Japan’s total defense spending for the next fiscal year is expected to reach 6.5 trillion yen.