Japan May Deploy F-35 Fighters to Additional Bases

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry is looking at deploying new F-35A state-of-the-art stealth fighters to Air Self-Defense Force bases other than the current host, the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan.

The ministry sought 40.2 billion yen in its budget request for fiscal 2021 to acquire four F-35As in fiscal 2025.

"When the number of F-35s increases, new fighters may be deployed to bases other than Misawa that currently operate fighter jets," a ministry official said. "As we need to gain approval from local communities, we have not decided yet where to deploy them."

Currently, the Misawa base hosts 17 F-35As, with the number set to increase to some 20 next spring. After trial operations, they will be assigned missions such as scrambles.

The ministry plans to procure 147 F-35s eventually. In the future, F-35s will replace the F-15s that cannot be modernized, including those at the Chitose base in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, and the Komatsu base in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press