Japan to ship Patriot missiles to US
On December 22, the Japanese government announced that it was preparing to ship Patriot air defense missiles to the US. This move is aimed at bolstering the US's capacity to assist Ukraine more with its own stockpiles
Reuters reported the information.
Japan has updated its defense export guidelines to allow the supply of missiles and other equipment manufactured under license to countries where patent holders are located.
The announcement comes as Japan, which has long maintained a stance of banning the export of lethal weapons, seeks to bolster its defense industry amid an increasingly tense security environment in the Indo-Pacific region.
"This holds significant meaning in terms of further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. It will contribute not only to Japan's security but also the peace and stability of the wider Indo-Pacific region," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said.
Japan's new export controls do not allow the supply of weapons to countries at war, but this decision may indirectly benefit Ukraine in its war with Russia, as it gives the United States additional opportunities to provide military assistance to Kyiv.
A Japanese government official said anonymously that the missiles will be used to replenish the US military's arsenal to ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific region.
Under previous rules, Japan could only export weapons components and was banned from supplying finished products.
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that the United States may turn to Japan for new stocks of Patriot missiles: the country plans to adopt changes in export policy. Thus, Washington will be able to send more air defense systems to Ukraine.