Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said on Tuesday that Japan plans to buy all the Tomahawk cruise missiles it is seeking from the United States in one go in fiscal 2023 rather than over several years as initially planned.

Hamada, speaking at a news conference, did not give a reason for the change of plan or say how many of the U.S.-developed long-range missiles the government would buy, saying only that it is eyeing procuring "all of the required quantity" in the year starting April.

Japan has been considering purchasing up to about 500 Tomahawks, according to a government source.