Japan To Export New Fighter Jet

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Japan’s Cabinet has greenlit a plan to export its future next-generation fighter aircraft being jointly developed with the United Kingdom and Italy to other countries. It is the latest shift away from Japan’s long-standing post-war pacifist stance where the export of Japanese manufactured materiel was previously forbidden for export with some exceptions.

Japan, Britain and Italy are developing the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) fighter to supplant the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force’s (JASDF) aging fleet of Mitsubishi F-2 jets and Eurofighter Typhoons in service with the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and Italian Air Force. The GCAP fighter is aimed for a 2035 deployment date

According to the Japanese goverment, “the plan to make fighter jets with capabilities essential for the security of our nation must be realised, to ensure that our nation’s defences won’t be compromised. We need to have a system in place that would allow us to transfer defence equipment to countries other than our partners, and to make contributions on par with the UK and Italy.”

The aircraft may only be exported to nations not involved in active conflicts and signatories of an international pledge to utilise the aircraft or weapons in accordance with United Nations charters. Each individual export must go through the approval of the Japanese cabinet through a stringent process that would ‘allow the government to demonstrate to its citizens and the world that Japan will maintain its fundamental principles as a pacifist nation’.shp/adj/dl (Pix:BAE)