Japan to buy 'standoff' missiles to counter North Korea

Japan military missiles.
(Image credit: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan plans to purchase long-range missiles for the first time in the history, CNN reports, to handle its "increasingly severe" national security situation.

The government plans to equip its F-15 fighter jets with long-range anti-ship missiles as well as air-to-surface missiles, CNN says. New F-35 stealth fighter jets will gain joint strike missiles.

"We will implement stand-off missiles capable of defending ourselves adequately, when we are outside the range of the opponent, in order to ensure the safety of the Self Defense Force and to defend our nation effectively," Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters from CNN Japan.

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Earlier this year, North Korea test-fired two missiles that flew close enough to Japan to set off alarms. Last month, President Trump advised the Japanese government in Tokyo to purchase U.S. military equipment. Japan's Defense Ministry will finance the purchases by adding a line in next year's budget proposal, CNN reports.

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