TOKYO, Dec 18 2018 : Japan will accelerate spending on advanced stealth fighters, long-range missiles and other equipment over the next five years to support U.S. forces facing China’s military in the Western Pacific, two new government defence papers said.
The plans are the clearest indication yet of Japan’s ambition to become a regional power as a military build-up by China and a resurgent Russia puts pressure on its U.S. ally.
Japan plans to buy 45 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighters, worth about $4 billion, in addition to the 42 jets already on order, according to a separate five-year procurement plan approved today.
Japan plans to spend 25.5 trillion yen (179.33 billion pounds) on military equipment over the next five years, 6.4 percent more than the previous plan. Cost-cutting will free up a further 2 trillion yen for equipment purchases, the procurement paper said. – Reuters