Jiji Press reported that the U.S. Department of State on Thursday approved the sale of 105 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Japan and notified Congress, saying that the deal is estimated to be worth about $23.1 billion dollars, or some 2.48 trillion yen. The wire service said that this will be the second largest sale of military equipment by the United States since the country approved the sale of 84 F-15 fighters, missiles, and other equipment to Saudi Arabia for $29.4 billion in 2010. The deal with Japan includes the sale of 63 F-35As and 42 F-35Bs.
Sankei, Nikkei, and Mainichi filed similar reports, adding that the USG said in a statement: “It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.”
NHK also reported on the issue, saying that an unnamed State Department official told the network that the deal will help to improve Japan’s defense capability and support the U.S. economy and employment.