The Japanese government is studying the development of guided missiles with a range of up to 3,000 kilometers and their subsequent phased deployment in various parts of the country, including Hokkaido, the Mainichi newspaper writes, citing sources.
Currently, the maximum launch range of missiles in service with Japan is just over 100 kilometers. These are “type 12 anti-ship missiles”. As part of a plan to increase the country’s defense capability, official Tokyo plans to modernize them to increase the flight range to a thousand kilometers or more. The possibility of developing new missiles, including hypersonic ones, with a range of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers is also being considered.
Their subsequent placement, according to the publication, will include three stages. At the first stage, advanced missiles with a range of about a thousand kilometers will be deployed on the Nansei Islands. The deployment is scheduled for 2026.
At the second stage, it is planned to deploy missiles with a flight range of about 2,000 kilometers on the island of Honshu. A possible candidate is the area around Mount Fuji. The publication does not indicate the time frame for this stage.
The third stage – the deployment of missiles on the northern island of Hokkaido – is expected after the development of missiles with a range of about 3 thousand kilometers and is scheduled for the mid-2030s.
During a keynote address in early October, the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida stated that Tokyo would consider all options for protecting the population, including the possibility of a retaliatory strike. By the end of 2022, the authorities must submit three updated documents in the field of defense: the national security strategy, the norms of the national defense program and the medium-term defense program.