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Japan, Britain and Italy to Jointly Build Sixth Generation Fighter Jets

Japan has announced that it will jointly develop its next-generation fighter jet with the United Kingdom and Italy as it looks to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States. The Mitsubishi F-X fighter jet will replace the aging fleet of F-2s that Japan previously developed with the United States.

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More About This Development:

The nations will merge their current plans for development of next-generation planes – the F-X and Britain’s Tempest, a successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon – to produce the new combat aircraft for deployment in 2035. The deal will give Japan greater support in countering China’s growing assertiveness and allow Britain a bigger presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

About This Transition:

The announcement came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set spending targets aimed at building up Japan’s military capability, including a huge boost in defense spending over the next five years.

Need Of This Move:

To counter growing threats from China and North Korea, Japan has been expanding its defense partnerships with countries in the Indo-Pacific, including Australia, with Southeast Asian countries and with Europe.

Extent Of This Project:

To meet the five-year spending total of 43 trillion yen (USD 316 billion), the government will need an extra 4 trillion yen (USD 30 billion) in defense spending annually. Of that, a quarter will be funded through tax increases.

Securitization Of The Indo-Pacific Theatre:

The revised national security strategy, is predicted to allow the country to have a pre-emptive strike capability and to deploy long-range missiles.

That’s a major and contentious shift away from Japan’s self-defense only defense policy adopted after its World War II defeat in 1945.

Japan and Australia held 2+2 security talks of their foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo to discuss further deepening military ties after Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed a new bilateral security agreement in October. It covers military, intelligence and cybersecurity cooperation amid China’s growing assertiveness.

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