Skip to content
Edit post

Japan to transfer Patriot missiles to US

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 22, 2023 3:39 PM 2 min read
MIM-104 Patriot short-range anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles photographed on July 24, 2022, at Rzeszow Airport, Poland. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Japan changed its laws regarding arms exports, allowing for the transfer of weapons, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced on Dec. 22. The ministry added that it will send the U.S. Patriot missiles, paving the way for the U.S. to replenish its stocks while potentially sending Ukraine some of its own current supply.

The move represented a significant shift in Japan's pacifist foreign policy, which has long prohibited the international export of arms. The change in rules still does not allow for the export of weapons to countries currently at war, so Japan cannot send Patriot missiles directly to Ukraine.

As Russia continues to ramp up its onslaught of attacks against civilian infrastructure, Ukraine remains in desperate need of modern air defenses to thwart Russian airstrikes this winter. In October, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia would likely attempt to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Ukraine has seen success with its Patriot missiles, some of the most advanced air defense systems the country possesses.

Ukraine received its first Patriot systems in April 2023 and soon after proved their effectiveness by downing air-launched ballistic Kinzhal missiles, lauded by Moscow as "unstoppable hypersonic" weapons.

The U.S. would still need to obtain permission from the Japanese government before transferring the weapons abroad.

U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Japan plans to send dozens of Patriot missiles to the U.S. as early as the beginning of 2024. The missiles cost millions of dollars each, and the producer, Lockheed Martin, currently makes only 550 annually.

"The impact of Japan’s shipments will depend on how many missiles the U.S. in turn provides to Ukraine," the WSJ said.

The decision to send Patriot missiles to the U.S. "helps us manage our inventory of Patriots, given Ukraine and the Middle East, with a little more flexibility and strategic deployment,” said Rahm Emanuel, U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Japan has committed more than $7 billion in aid to Ukraine, the majority of which is humanitarian. Some military aid has been provided, but it has been limited to non-lethal equipment due to the restrictions on weapons exports.

Ukraine finally moves to fortify front line, but could it be too little too late?
“If you want to live, dig.” The words, often spoken by Ukrainian troops, are universal advice for trench warfare in general, but especially for both sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Normally expressed as advice to the individual soldier, the maxim now applies to the country as a whole.
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

10:09 PM

Ukraine working on securing more air defense, Zelensky says.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his regular evening address on June 23, said that Ukraine is continuing to work on securing more air defense systems, and that the next weeks in June and July should be "no less productive" than May and the first half of June.
8:47 PM

No point in peace talks, General Budanov says.

Ukraine's Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer published June 23 that peace talks are pointless because the only option is to reclaim occupied territory.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.