The Japanese government is considering the development of guided missiles with a range of up to 3,000 kilometers (1,864) miles and their subsequent deployment in various parts of the country, said Japanese newspaper The Mainichi on Friday, citing sources, APA reports.
According to the report, the maximum range of Japan’s missiles Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles is currently about 100 kilometers. Tokyo is planning to modernize the missiles to increase their range up to 1,000 kilometers or slightly more as a part of strengthening the country’s defense capabilities. The government is also mulling the development of new missiles, including hypersonic missiles, with a range of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers.
The missiles’ subsequent deployment will include three stages, The Mainichi reported. The first stage stipulates the deployment of modernized missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometers on the Ryukyu Islands (also known as the Nansei Islands) sometime around 2026.
During the second stage, missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers would be deployed on Honshu Island, with the area near Mount Fuji being the possible site of deployment. The newspaper did not specify a timeframe for this stage.
The third stage includes the deployment of missiles with a range of 3,000 kilometers on Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido Island in the mid-2030s, the report said.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in early October that Tokyo would consider every option to ensure the protection of its citizens, including the possibility of retaliatory strikes. Japan’s competent authorities must provide three updated security documents by the end of 2022: the country’s National Security Strategy, the National Defense Program Guidelines, and the Medium Term Defense Program.