U.S. approves missile sale to Japan amid North Korea threat

Kyodo

The United States approved the sale of 56 advanced medium-range missiles to Japan for an estimated ¥12.6 billion ($113 million), the State Department said Wednesday as the two allies face a growing missile and nuclear threat from North Korea.

The planned sale of the AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles “will provide Japan a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there,” the department said in a statement.

The deal, which requires congressional approval, comes at the request of the Japanese government. Separate certification form the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency was cleared earlier Wednesday, it said.

Aside from the missiles, the deal includes containers, weapons support and other support equipment, spare and repair parts, U.S. government and contractor engineering services, as well as technical and logistical support, according to the department.

“Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional munitions into the Japan Air Self-Defense Force,” it said.