Japan to deliver Patriots to US: boost for Ukraine’s defense

December 26,2023 941
Japan to deliver Patriots to US: boost for Ukraine’s defense

The Japanese government greenlit the delivery of Patriot missile defense systems to the United States to bolster American supplies. This move is anticipated to expand Ukraine’s air defense reserves significantly. Amendments to Japanese laws were enacted to streamline the export of several dozen Patriot missiles, as reported by the BBC.

This decision will contribute to the security of Japan and to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by ensuring that U.S. forces, in close cooperation with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, will continue to maintain a credible deterrence and response capability,” said Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor.

Previous directives only allowed the export of licensed components of defense products to the US. The updated legislation will permit the supply of defense products manufactured under foreign license to the country where the patent was issued.

Japan declared that it does not aim to transfer missile supplies to third countries. Yet, under the revised framework, licensed military equipment might be subject to potential transfer to third countries with Tokyo’s authorization. This could imply that Washington holds the potential to transfer missiles, like Japanese-made Patriots or other licensed arms, to European nations, given these countries are not in official states of war. While this bars missile transfers to Ukraine, Tokyo’s alterations provide Washington and Europe more leeway in bolstering Kyiv’s air defense, as detailed by European Pravda. 

The delivery of defense equipment is a significant political tool for “deterring unilateral changes to the status-quo by force and for creating a desirable defence environment for Japan,” explained the administration of the Japanese Prime Minister.

“By taking such actions, we would like to contribute to the protection of a free and open international order based on the rule of law, as well as to the achievement of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

After World War II, Japan consistently followed the path of a “peace-loving nation,” including years of adhering to a ban on the export of lethal weapons. 

However, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Tokyo has reviewed its defense and security strategy. The country plans to double its defense budget by 2027. President Joe Biden raised the issue of missile supply during a recent meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in November.

Japan is also hosting Ukrainian refugees and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

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