US navy starts Tomahawk cruise missile training for Japan Self-Defense Forces

The US Navy has begun training for Japan's Self-Defense Forces on how to handle Tomahawk cruise missiles that Japan decided to purchase from the United States.

A five-day initial training session started on Monday, following Japan's signing of a contract early this year to buy up to 400 Tomahawks from the US to beef up its counterstrike capabilities against enemy missile sites and other targets.

On Thursday, some Japanese and US media were allowed to cover the training involving around 20 SDF personnel. It was conducted inside a US Aegis destroyer at anchor in Yokosuka navy base, south of Tokyo.

The US Navy explained that the training on Thursday included learning the basic procedure for launching a Tomahawk using real equipment.

The official said that while the initial training will end on Friday, an advanced Tomahawk training program for the SDF is scheduled to take place in the near future.

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel inspected the training on Thursday. He said that this is a real scenario-based training. He said it will give the US partner and ally, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, the capacity that they are investing in.