U.S. and Japan to Stockpile Munitions Near Taiwan

The U.S. and Japan discussed stockpiling munitions in each other’s defense facilities across Japan, including islands in Taiwan’s vicinity, to prepare for contingencies amid tensions with China.

In a joint statement released after last week’s two-plus-two meeting of foreign and defense ministers, the ministers “committed to increase joint/shared use of U.S. and Japanese facilities, including efforts to strengthen Japan Self-Defense Forces’ posture in areas including its southwestern islands,” or the Nansei Islands in Japanese, a chain that stretches from the southernmost tip of Kyushu to the north of Taiwan.

The joint use of facilities included stockpiling weapons and shared use of runways, Nikkei Asia reported. 

Media reports said stockpiling munitions would ensure the U.S. and Japan would have a sufficient amount to deploy during a regional conflict. 

According to Nikkei, the Joint Air-to-Surface Strike Missile, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, and Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile could be in short supply shortly.

Meanwhile, a Congressional Research Service report warned in June that these three missiles “are being procured in relatively small quantities.”

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