Export New Fighter Jets: Japan's Approval

Japan Approves Export of New Fighter Jets Developed with UK and Italy

Export New Fighter Jets Japan

Japan's cabinet has given the green light for the export of brand-new fighter jets co-developed with the UK and Italy, marking a significant departure from its pacifist stance.

To facilitate the sale of these jets, Japan relaxed its arms export regulations, allowing them to be marketed to nations with which Japan has signed defense agreements and where there are no ongoing conflicts.

Citing increasing threats from China and North Korea, Japan has committed to doubling its military spending by 2027.

Each sale of these fighter jets will require approval from the cabinet, according to authorities.

In December 2022, Japan joined forces with the UK and Italy in the Tempest collaboration to develop these cutting-edge fighter jets, featuring artificial intelligence and advanced sensors to assist pilots.

Expected to be operational by 2035, these jets mark Tokyo's first defense equipment development partnership outside of the US.

This recent decision comes ahead of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's upcoming visit to the US in April, during which he plans to emphasize Tokyo's alliance with Washington and its readiness to engage in defense partnerships.

Kishida stressed the importance of allowing the export of warplanes to third countries to uphold Tokyo's credibility as a partner in future international defense projects.

Government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi emphasized the necessity of realizing the plan to produce fighter jets essential for national security to ensure Japan's defense remains uncompromised.

However, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara clarified that Japan remains committed to its pacifist principles, adhering to strict decision-making processes for exports.

Japan's 75-year-long pacifism faces new challenges as it grapples with emerging threats.

Following World War II, Japan, under US occupation, adopted a constitution renouncing war and the use of force to settle international disputes, with the military being limited to self-defense capabilities.

In 2014, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe relaxed the arms export ban for the first time.

In December 2023, Japan further eased regulations, permitting the export of lethal weapons produced under foreign licenses to the licensor's country. This move paved the way for the export of Patriot air defense missiles to the US, some of the most advanced weapons supplied by the US to Ukraine.

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