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Onodera says introducing cruise missiles does not run counter to defense-exclusive defense policy

NHK reported at 1 p.m. that Defense Minister Onodera formally announced today that Japan will introduce long-range cruise missiles to be mounted on fighters as “stand-off missiles” amid the increasingly harsh security environment. The network quoted Onodera as saying: “The introduction of the long-range cruise missiles is not for the purpose of attacking enemy bases, and therefore it does not run counter to the defense-exclusive defense policy.”  The network added that the GOJ is planning to introduce the Norway-made JSM with a range of 500 km to be mounted on F-35As and the U.S. made LRASM and JASSM with a range of 900 km to be mounted on F15s. The GOJ will request funding in the budget for the next fiscal year. According to the network, Onodera stressed the significance of the new missile introduction by saying: “It will allow us to conduct more effective and safer operations since we don’t have to get close to enemy surface or landing forces that are invading our country. It is also essential in protecting Aegis vessels that are defending our nation from North Korean ballistic missiles.” 

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