Japan considers installing more than 1,000 long-range missiles, experts analyze the motivation behind it

The Japanese government is studying whether to field more than 1,000 long-range cruise missiles. Taking into account the “something in Taiwan” situation, the Japanese government plans to deploy these long-range cruise missiles from the Southwest Islands to Kyushu, the purpose of which is to fill the “missile gap” with China. As of press time, Japanese officials have not yet responded to the news. Several Japanese government officials revealed that the proposed more than 1,000 missiles are improved from the Japanese-made “12-type shore-mounted anti-ship missiles” equipped by the Ground Self-Defense Force. The improved missile range will be increased from the current more than 100 kilometers to More than 1,000 kilometers, that is, the range can reach the coastal areas of North Korea or China; the missile launch method has also been improved to be launched from the sea and the air. In addition, the improved “12-type shore-based anti-ship missile” will be deployed two years earlier than the original plan, and will be deployed in 2024 at the earliest, and will be used for land attacks in the future.

According to the report, the Japanese government will propose to have “counter-attack capability” in three documents including the “National Security Guarantee Strategy” revised at the end of this year, that is, to have the ability to attack enemy missile launch bases and other places for the purpose of self-defense. Among them, the improved missile will become the core of “counterattack capability”. “Yomiuri Shimbun” said that if the Japanese government wants to have more than 1,000 long-range missiles in advance, it needs to add more production lines to companies engaged in missile development. The Ministry of Defense of Japan plans to create a system to support equipment investment by related companies, and plans to include relevant funds in the defense budget request for 2023.

The “Yomiuri Shimbun” said that the purpose of the Japanese government’s pursuit of a large number of long-range missiles is that there is a large gap between the missile attack capabilities of Japan and the United States and China. So far, Japan has not deployed long-range missiles capable of ground-attack because of its inability to have “capacity to attack enemy bases” (ie, the ability to counterattack). The report quoted the U.S. Department of Defense as saying that China has about 1,900 land-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles that can bring Japan into the range, and about 300 intermediate-range cruise missiles. North Korea has also deployed hundreds of ballistic missiles capable of bringing Japan within range. China and North Korea are also developing hypersonic weapons that are more difficult to intercept, and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will have difficulty dealing with missile interception alone.

 Military expert Song Zhongping told the Global Times reporter on the 21st that Japan has indicated in 2020 and 2021 that it will strengthen its “counterattack capability”, and one of the enhancements to this capability is the addition of long-range cruise missiles. Song Zhongping explained that more than 1,000 long-range cruise missiles seem to be just a number, and its connotation wants to show that Japan has the ability to mass-produce long-range cruise missiles. “This is a symbol of mass production, and Japan can produce according to demand.” Song Zhongping said that in recent years, Japan has been striving to break through the “special defense” and advocates lifting the ban on “collective self-defense”, which means that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces must have the ability to have both offense and defense. The purpose of Japan’s release of long-range cruise missiles is this. Japan’s recent constitutional revisions have aroused vigilance from all sides. Song Zhongping believes that the deployment of medium and long-range missiles is only one of the means for Japan to break through the constitution. In the future, Japan may also develop ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, and even aircraft carriers, all of which are restricted and prohibited by the Japanese constitution.