Saturday morning’s Yomiuri front-paged a Washington-datelined report saying that it has learned from an unnamed State Department official that the USG is studying the idea of expanding its sales of highly sophisticated weapons to Japan and South Korea in response to the growing nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea. According to The Washington Times, the Trump administration is considering the possibility of selling Tomahawk cruise missiles to the nations. The DOS official reportedly told Yomiuri that the department is working with Japan and South Korea to identify what would best assist their defense needs in response to instructions from the President.
The paper wrote in a related inside-page report that although the GOJ is pleased that Washington is willing to sell its highly sophisticated weapons, the opposition parties will probably react strongly to the idea by insisting that the use of Tomahawks would run counter to Japan’s “exclusively defensive” security policy. There is also concern within the Defense Ministry that there are limits to the defense budget and the Japanese defense industry’s ability to develop defensive hardware would be weakened if Japan increased its imports from the U.S.