US President Donald Trump has urged Japan to buy more American-made military gear to reduce the US trade deficit with Japan.
"He will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States," Trump said with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe standing next to him, replying to a question about Japan's missile defense system in light of the growing threat from North Korea, Nikki reported Tuesday.
"The prime minister is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment, as he should," Trump said. "And we make the best military equipment by far."
Japan has so far bought Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system for an approximate $702 million per unit. It has also acquired F-35 Lightning II fighter jets and Osprey transport helicopters. There is no room for further increases; a high-ranking Defense Ministry official was quoted as saying by the news daily.
"We cannot avoid a fierce backlash if we decide to purchase Tomahawk or other weapons without discussing" such issues as attacking enemy bases, one Japanese government official said.