The State Department on Friday approved a potential $2.35 billion sale of 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles to Japan. The deal would allow for Japan to receive up to 200 Tomahawk Block IV and 200 Tomahawk Block V All Up Rounds (AUR) and related equipment.
The approval comes after years of talk that Japan would procure long-range land attack cruise missile capability via Tomahawk and is another glaring example of the country’s changing military policy when it comes to ‘offensive’ weaponry. This is primarily spurred by tensions mounting in the Pacific that have pushed Japan to expand its counterstrike capacity against potential threats, especially emanating from China and North Korea.
Japan is planning to use the Tomahawks on its Aegis destroyers, although ground and submarine launch platforms are also a possibility in the future.