Since 2018, Japan has advanced its stand-off weapons programmes. It is currently planning to introduce the Norway-sourced Joint Strike Missile and undertaking research and development and/or deployment of at least six types of indigenous stand-off weapons. Theoretically, the maximum ranges of some of these weapons would become long enough to reach the territories of neighbouring countries. Therefore, concerns have been raised in Japan that such weapons could be used for active offensive operations.
The paper provides an overview of Japan’s stand-off weapons programmes and examines whether, and if so how, such weapons could be developed into military assets for use in active offensive operations against neighbouring countries.