Japan Ruling Bloc Panel OKs Introduction of F-35B Fighters

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--A panel of Japan's ruling coalition, at a meeting Wednesday, approved a government plan to introduce state-of-the-art U.S. F-35B stealth fighters for the Self-Defense Forces.

The panel also confirmed that careful discussions should be held on the envisioned introduction of a so-called multipurpose mother ship, or a de facto aircraft carrier.

During the meeting, a government representative stressed that F-35B aircraft capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings will be useful for Japan with many islands, given the growing need for surveillance around Pacific coastal areas with few airfields.

Japan has already started to operate F-35A stealth jets, which need longer runways, as the successor to F-4 fighter jets. The F-35 series also has the C type for aircraft carrier-based operations.

The Air SDF is considering replacing 99 of its 201 F-15 fighter jets with F-35 aircraft. The units to be replaced have not received modernization work for radar and other equipment.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press