Japan new defence plan bolsters fighter capability, budget

Japan adopted new defense guidelines Tuesday that include plans for its first aircraft carrier and increases in spending and weapons capability in coming years, citing the need to counter potential threats from North Korea and China.

The guidelines approved at a Cabinet meeting call for refitting an existing helicopter carrier into a ship that can deploy 42 expensive F-35B stealth fighters capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings — part of Japan’s planned purchase of 147 F-35s over the next decade.

The guidelines would replace Japan’s current defense plan halfway through and underscore Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role and capability to make Japan what Abe has called “a normal country.”

Abe has long wanted to revise Japan’s US-drafted constitution that renounces war and has already broadened the concept of self-defense  Read More

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