IP- The United States may deploy Tomahawk cruise missiles which have a range of about 2,000 km and LRHW hypersonic systems to Japan, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Iran PressAmerica: The latter will be able to hit targets almost 2,800 km away. Authorities in Japan are ready to start serious discussions on a deployment plan, officials told the Japanese newspaper which said the move may be aimed at striking a strategic balance between Washington and Tokyo in Eastern Asia and preventing any use of force by China.

The US has been mulling deploying its missiles in the Asia-Pacific region to counterbalance Chinese forces for more than a decade now, and Washington exited the INF Treaty exactly for this reason, says the Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics Vasily Kashin.

There came a time when it became clear to the Americans that any surface warships that can be deployed in the Western Pacific are vulnerable to attacks, while the capacity of their launchers is less than those in service with Chinese missile brigades. According to Kashin, the conflict in Ukraine showed that it is almost impossible to track ground-based missiles in time, and therefore they are likelier to survive an initial attack from China.

Any deployment of the above-mentioned missile systems in either the Kyushu or the Ryukyu Islands will not be a major gamechanger for Russia, while Moscow will have to respond if similar weapons are deployed in Hokkaido, for such a scenario would threaten Russian submarines near Kamchatka and its troops in the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin, the expert warned.

Oleg Paramonov, senior researcher at the Center of East Asian Studies and SCO of MGIMO, agrees that the deployment of US medium-range missiles in Kyushu would likely be the first step.

Japan’s agreement to any such deployment would mean a further escalation of the missile race in the Asia-Pacific, Paramonov told Vedomosti.

As a result, the Japan-US alliance will gradually transform from a defensive one into a military-political construction with significant offensive potential, the expert emphasized.


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