Home World ‘Won’t jeopardise our defence’: Japan to sell fighter jets to other nations

‘Won’t jeopardise our defence’: Japan to sell fighter jets to other nations

‘Won’t jeopardise our defence’: Japan to sell fighter jets to other nations


Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday accepted a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets that it’s creating with Britain and Italy to other nations, within the newest transfer away from the nation’s postwar pacifist ideas.

The contentious determination to permit worldwide arms gross sales is predicted to assist safe Japan’s function within the joint fighter jet challenge and is a part of a transfer to construct up the Japanese arms trade and bolster its function in world safety.

The Cabinet additionally endorsed a revision to Japan’s arms gear and know-how switch pointers to permit co-produced deadly weapons to be bought to nations other than the companions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi mentioned the modifications are vital given Japan’s safety surroundings, however pressured that Japan’s pacifist ideas stay unchanged.

“In order to achieve a fighter aircraft that meets the necessary performance and to avoid jeopardising the defence of Japan, it is necessary to transfer finished products from Japan to countries other than partner countries,” Hayashi informed reporters.”

He added that Tokyo will follow a strict approval process for jet sales. “We have clearly demonstrated that we will continue to adhere to our basic philosophy as a peaceful nation,” he said.

Japan has long restricted arms exports under the country’s pacifist constitution, but has rapidly taken steps to deregulate amid rising regional and global tensions, especially from nearby China.

The decision on jets will allow Japan to export lethal weapons it co-produces to other countries for the first time.

Japan is working with Italy and the UK to develop an advanced fighter jet to replace its ageing fleet of American-designed F-2 fighters, and the Eurofighter Typhoons used by the UK and Italian militaries.

Japan, which was previously working on a home-grown design to be called the F-X, agreed in December 2022 to merge its effort with a British-Italian program called the Tempest for deployment in 2035.

The joint project, known as the Global Combat Air Program or GCAP, is based in the UK.

Japan hopes the new plane will offer advanced capabilities Japan needs amid growing tensions in the region, giving it a technological edge against regional rivals China and Russia.

Because of its wartime past as an aggressor and the devastation that followed its defeat in World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that limits its military to self-defence.

The country has long maintained a strict policy to limit transfers of military equipment and technology and ban all exports of lethal weapons.

Opponents have criticised Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government for committing to the fighter jet project without providing an explanation to the public or seeking approval for the major policy change.

To address such concerns, the government is limiting exports of co-developed lethal weapons to the jet for now, and has promised that no sales will be made for use in active wars.

Published On:

Mar 26, 2024


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