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Japan Military to Start Receiving US Training on Tomahawk Missiles

The Japanese military will begin receiving US training on Tomahawk cruise missiles next month after signing an acquisition agreement for 400 of the long-range weapons.

The information was disclosed following a meeting between Japanese Defense Minister Kihara Minoru and US Ambassador to Tokyo Rahm Emanuel.

The training is scheduled to begin on March 25, with 30 personnel from Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force expected to participate.

According to Emanuel, the training will be crucial for Japanese soldiers as they utilize the American system on their home soil to support various combat operations.

Meanwhile, Kihara lauded the cooperation between the US and Japan, saying he hopes to see more collaboration to steadily advance Tokyo’s defense capabilities.

Apart from the Tomahawk training in Japan, Washington is reportedly considering hosting some Japanese military personnel for training on US soil.

Strengthening Deterrence

In November 2023, the US State Department approved Japan’s request to buy two types of Tomahawk missiles for $2.35 billion.

The weapons will be used to boost the country’s counter-strike capabilities against enemy missile bases and other targets.

A precision weapon, the RTX-manufactured Tomahawks have a maximum strike range of 1,600 kilometers (995 miles) and can be launched from surface ships and submarines.

In Japan, the missiles are expected to be fitted on Aegis destroyers to bolster the nation’s naval deterrence amid increasing North Korean and Chinese military buildup in the Indo-Pacific.

“As aggressors grow more and more belligerent, Japan is at the forefront of countries rallying to protect peace and prosperity by raising the costs of aggression,” Emanuel said last month.

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