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Japan’s F-35s will confer air superiority

Friday, June 14, 2019

Subject

Japan's procurement of F-35 fighter jets from the United States.

Significance

Japan is to purchase 105 additional F-35 stealth fighter aircraft from the United States, giving it the world’s second-largest fleet.

Impacts

  • Deployment of F-35s sends China a strong message that Japan will not be coerced by its neighbour’s growing maritime power.
  • Buying the aircraft will help Tokyo cultivate Washington at a time of heightened tension over trade.
  • There is a risk that Japan’s defence industry might lose some capabilities since it will not produce the planes itself.
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