U.S. Approves Sale of F-35 Stealth Fighters to Japan

Politics

Washington, July 9 (Jiji Press)--The U.S. Department of State on Thursday approved the sale of 105 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Japan.

The deal is estimated to be worth about 23.1 billion dollars, or some 2.48 trillion yen. It will be the second largest sale of military equipment by the United States since the country approved the sale of 84 F-35 fighters, missiles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia for 29.4 billion dollars in 2010.

The department notified Congress of the deal to sell to Japan 63 F-35A jets that meet U.S. Air Force specifications and 42 F-35B jets built for use by the U.S. Marine Corps with short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.

The Japanese government decided in December 2018 to make the purchase to replace its outdated F-15 fighter jets and eventually increase its F-35 fleet to 147, in line with the country's Medium Term Defense Program through fiscal 2023.

"It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability," the U.S. government said in a statement. "This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press