URGENT: Japan considering buying U.S. cruise missiles to counter N. Korea

Japan is considering buying U.S.-developed Tomahawk cruise missiles, government sources said Friday, in an apparent effort to obtain the ability to disable an enemy country's missiles in its territory.

The government is studying the purchase of sea-launched, medium-range U.S. missiles amid North Korea's missile and nuclear threats as well as China's assertive military activities.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's administration aims to declare the possession of strike capability when the government updates a key long-term security guideline by the end of this year. The move is controversial in Japan, which has long held an exclusively self-defense-oriented security policy position under its war-renouncing Constitution.

© Kyodo News