TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan may buy up to 500 U.S-made Tomahawk cruise missiles by the fiscal year ending in March 2028 as it speeds up preparations to improve counterattack capabilities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Tokyo is pursuing its biggest arms buildup since World War Two in the face of Beijing's rapid military modernisation and as North Korea launched dozens of missiles in its direction this year.
Asked about the Yomiuri report, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said nothing had been decided.
Japan plans to revise its national security strategy as well as other key defence positions by the end of the year. It has already said it intends to extend the range of ground-based missiles as part of a new strategy to give its military the ability to strike distant targets both at sea and on land.
Tomahawks can hit targets from more than 1,000 km (620 miles) away, putting parts of China and the Russian Far East within range.
The Nikkei business daily reported separately this month that Japan was also considering the deployment of hypersonic missiles by 2030 to boost deterrence.
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Kantaro Komiya. Editing by Gerry Doyle)