As Chinese expansionism fuels fears all over East Asia, Japan plans to buy new fighter jets worth a total as much as $40 billion. Japan is increasingly worried about Chinese aggression in the East China Sea, where there are a number of islands whose ownership the two nations dispute. It’s also worried about Chinese militarization of the South China Sea, which could threaten freedom of navigation in some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
The Japan Times reported: “The program will dwarf most recent fighter jet deals in value, likely attracting global contractor interest. But analysts say Japan’s preference for an aircraft that can operate closely with the U.S. military, given close Washington-Tokyo ties, makes a non-U.S. option a long shot.”
Japan seeks a kind of warplane that will let it maintain air superiority over China. China’s warplanes still lag behind those used by the U.S. and its allies, but Beijing has been building its capability, fueling a more muscular security agenda under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
To read The Japan Times’s story on this, please hit this link.