Japan is planning to develop medium and long-range cruise missiles. They would be used to strengthen its defense capabilities in remote southwestern islands and nearby areas of the Pacific.
Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya disclosed the plan at a news conference on Tuesday.
He said foreign warships are now equipped with long-range anti-aircraft weapons. Iwaya said he wants to see longer-range missiles deployed on Japan's fighters in order to secure the safety of Self-Defense Force personnel.
Iwaya added that research and development of cruise missiles is already underway.
The Defense Minister indicated that domestic cruise missiles are intended for use on new fighter jets that will replace the F2 fighter, which will be retired in the 2030s.
In December 2017, the government announced its decision to equip Japanese fighter aircraft with foreign-made, long-range cruise missiles.