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The time has come for Japan and the United States to embark on an ambitious co-development project: a long-range ground-based anti-ship cruise missile system. Such a program is strategically necessary, technically feasible, cost effective and politically attractive — the allies should make it a top priority.

Japan and the U.S. face a rapidly growing and modernizing Chinese military. As of January, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy included 335 vessels and its coast guard fielded another 248 ocean-going ships, to say nothing of Beijing’s huge maritime militia. These numbers are increasing rapidly as China builds some of the world’s largest and most advanced naval combatants.

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