Japan Is About To Get Some Unwelcome News About the F-35
The Pentagon plans to shoot down that request
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July 31, 2019 - by Aaron Mehta, Valerie Insinna, and Mike Yeo for businessinsider.com
- Japan has requested to become a formal partner in the US-led F-35 fighter jet program.
- Japan has purchased F-35s, but the US plans to deny Tokyo's request to become a full-fledged member the stealth jet's industrial consortium.
Sources say Japan's request to join the partnership creates major political headaches for the Pentagon, with fears it would cause new tensions among the international production base for the joint strike fighter and open the door for other customer nations to demand a greater role in future capability development.
In a June 18 letter from Japan's Ministry of Defense to Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord, obtained by Defense News, Atsuo Suzuki, director general for the Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning, formally requests information on how Japan could move from being a customer of the F-35 to a full-fledged member of the industrial base consortium.
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