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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

Japan running into difficulties determining cause of F-35 crash

  • May 23, 2019
  • , Mainichi
  • JMH Summary

Mainichi published a prominent inside-page article on the crash of an ASDF F-35A in waters off Aomori in early April, saying that the fuselage of the fighter and its pilot have not yet been retrieved and that Japan’s probe into the cause of the accident has run into difficulties since the stealth aircraft is viewed as a “treasure trove of military secrets.” Noting that the GOJ plans to introduce close to 135 F-35s in response to President Trump’s strong call for Japan to “buy American,” the daily suspected that MOD investigations into what an unnamed ministry official called a “politically sensitive aircraft” may not be able to arrive at a conclusion quickly. An unnamed senior MOD official projected that the ongoing ban on F-35 flights will be lifted eventually pending the completion of measures to ensure pilot safety. The daily added that it is uncertain whether the U.S. will be willing to share the aircraft’s secrets when Japan moves ahead with the investigation. 

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