Proposed Japanese F-35 Sale Announced

The Pentagon notified Congress of the potential foreign military sale of F-35A strike fighters to Japan. If Congress lets the $10 billion deal proceed, Japan would initially receive four airplanes and associated support and would have the option to purchase an additional 38, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s May 1 release. “Japan is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key ally of the United States in ensuring the peace and stability of this region,” states the release. It continues, “The proposed sale of aircraft and support will augment Japan’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.” Japan selected the F-35 in December as its next-generation fighter. The US ally would decommission its aging F-4 fighters as the F-35s come online, states the release. In related news, Australia has decided to delay an initial purchase of 12 F-35s by two years, reported Business Week May 2.