Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper under People’s Daily recently reported that Japan is working on electromagnetic railgun technology to counter hypersonic missiles. This is because Japan is eager to deal with hypersonic weapons from China, Russia, and North Korea. The country has emphasized the need to strengthen deterrence against China. However, while Japan is exaggerating the threat of hypersonic weapons from other countries and making excuses for its own military spending, Japan is also actively developing offensive weapons including hypersonic missiles. Japan’s Defense Ministry is working on rail-gun technology that can fire artillery shells through electromagnetic acceleration, which means they can be fired faster than conventional interceptor systems and can fire continuously. Along with long-range missiles, this next-generation weapon system will provide Japan with multiple layers of interception capabilities. Hypersonic weapons typically travel at more than five times the speed of sound. In November last year, the Financial Times reported that, in August 2021, China conducted a test of a hypersonic weapon saying that the weapon could launch missiles during flight. North Korea also claimed to have conducted a new test of its Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile in September last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated that, in 2022, Russia plans to deploy hypersonic cruise missiles. Japanese policymakers see hypersonic weapons as the next generation of military weapons and believe Japan must immediately strengthen its deterrent capabilities, especially against China.
Source: Global Times, January 5, 2022