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Japan considers building its own fighter jets

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Why not Japan builds its own fighters? That is good for Japan can do.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Forget building a 'domestic fighter' just for Japan. Aim higher (pun intended) and do what Japan Inc. does well, EXPORT THE F%#K out of your product thereby making Japan's cost for that fighter much lower.

Japan handed the U.S. its A$$ when the started building cars so how hard could it be for Japan to build a fighter that other countries would buy for their armed forces. It's a no brainer, Japanese quality speaks for its self. Now all Japan has to do is build it to specs required by major world armed forces. Think Tank It and GO JAPAN!!!

14 ( +26 / -12 )

I'm 100% for Japan building it's own stealth fighter. Tora! Tora! Tora!

14 ( +21 / -7 )

I bet they'll get a top rating by Consumer Reports.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Japan had 20 trillion yen to waste on more US T-bonds, so it can spare a little more to build its own stealth fighter.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

US Japanese relationship after the war has been good for both countries. Its the first time that Waring nations have developed a close relationship after such conflict which cost millions of lives.

China can learn something.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Made in Japan, mean more job for the local and why not if Japan is cable of building its own.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Japan has the brains and expertise to develop high tech weapons systems as well as developing their own aircraft. I don't see why Japan can't produce a state of the art multi-role combat aircraft of its own.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

With an ever aggressive China ready to screw it's neighbours they have to start somewhere.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan has some of the best engineering minds in the world. Now all they have to do is build something like Macross Plus.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why not? All (sane) countries have a right to produce what they wish. I wish Canada would build its own military fighters again. The price of the F35 has become a joke. Take the Avro Arrow design and modernize it and it would still be one of the top fighters.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@turbotsatAUG. 22, 2014 - 09:37AM JST

Ferrari vs station wagon.

At least Kawasaki P-1 looks like ferrari by comparison to P-3 Orion ( old station wagon). Japanese high technology speaks for itself.

@TrevorPeace1AUG. 22, 2014 - 09:43AM JST

So, buy into the F-35 Stealth, or go it alone...no-brainer...go Japan!

And F-35 Stealth is highly effective.....reallly ?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

United States have learned lessons from Mideast that onetime ally can be a bitter enemy in the future, Saddam Hussein ever was a staunch ally of United States to resist the Iran influence in Gulf region.

US and Iraq relations are far different. Sorry to say but your comparison does not make sense. The United States illegally invaded Iraq, it was NOT Hussein´s fault.

China and United States share common interests on critical security matter to reign in Japan's military prowess.

Hmm... What about China and its absurd territorial claims. Everything China has set eyes upon it claims it owns. China by far a greater threat to the US than Japan.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm all in favour of this. Many countries domestically produce fighter jets, Japan should as well. They've got the engineering knowledge and the cutting edge tech to produce stealth jets as good or better than the F-35, the F-117 and the B-2, and they can probably manage that quality at a much lower price tag as well. It'd be better than investing in the F-35 which is constantly delayed and running massively over budget. Japan proved during WWII that they have the ingenuity to produce remarkable aircraft (such as the Shiden Kai, the Seiran, the Zero and the Shinden. Though the last never saw combat, it was a remarkable concept and, barring the torque pulling the plane to starboard, would have been a fearsome interceptor). I highly doubt that that ingenuity has been lost. Produce your own jets Japan. Show China, and indeed all of Asia how it's done.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@KnowBetterAUG. 22, 2014 - 07:46AM JST

Japan handed the U.S. its A$$ when the started building cars so how hard could it be for Japan to build a fighter that other countries would buy for their armed forces. It's a no brainer, Japanese quality speaks for its self.

Well said !

6 ( +19 / -13 )

I am looking forward to the AVF(Advanced Variable Fighter) finally the Macross fighter will become reality!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

And then we replace (or enlarge) the old Japan Inc. with a new military-industrial complex. The trillions of yen currently squandered by the government on pork-laden, kickback-generating domestic projects is not enough? There is not enough revenue to pay the current bills, is it logical to begin funding huge defense projects?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@turbotsat

So are saying that "Japan" is incapable of manufacturing advanced fighters?

Please give me some idea of your expertise that would convince me that I should take you seriously.

Failing that, please provide a compelling and objective argument, based on facts, that would give me reason to agree with you.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan considers building its own fighter jets

Japan should consider building it's own nukes. Sure Jets are fun and keep the barbarians at bay for a time, but nothing says hello like a 450+ kiloton detonation from a M.I.R.V.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@CherryBlossomAngel

What you wrote is so correct that I can't think of suitable words of praise worthy of your post.

In any case, I completely agree on the importance of the Japanese-US relationship. May long it last to the mutual benefit of both parties. And every other similar relationship throughout the world, provided it promotes peace.

@Highball

Japan doesn't need US permission to do anything. Neither does any other of it's allies.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Make it happen! Let's see some Japanese Fighter Jets.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If Japan developed Kawasaki P-1 ASW airplane to replace American P-3 Orion, why it is considered impossible for them to create a modern fighter-interceptor?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As93Wfcxg7o

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So, buy into the F-35 Stealth, or go it alone...no-brainer...go Japan!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

please if Japan thinks it can build a stealth fighter from scratch that can match anything from the US Russia theyll be sadly mistaken, itll take decades of R&D and many $billions just to get one fighter made. just look at the problems that Chinese fighter is having, its stolen most of its tech from Russia and the engines are even rumoured to be Russian copies, oh and it hasnt even fown yet. Japan has at least 20 years of catchup, by that time 6th gen fighters will be avilable

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Why not just go the whole way and pay for your own defense entirely? Then we won't have to continually hear or read rehashed stories about the 'burden' being placed on Okinawa, U.S. military crime, etc. I'm all for it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@PhillyStreetz

If Japan is ready to dissolve partnership, it's time to bring troops home and let Japan be fully responsible for it's own security. Who cares what it's Asian neighbors think other than our partners in Philippines & Australia

< <

So what exactly are your implying? The Senkaku Islands fall under Japanese administration, the U.S. would thus be treaty-bound to fight beside Japan should those islands face attack. What you are taking about is breaking our treaty agreement. That is and will never happen unless you would prefer an every more emboldened China.

< <

You seem to forget that the US-Japan treaty is what brought an end to WWII. It is the single most important agreement Japan-US have period.

< <

It is also the single most important agreement China is trying to drive a wedge between. Noting would make China happier then to see a US-Japan departure. It would give China free reign and would put Japan in a very bad position.

< <

Furthermore breaking any agreement would be a disaster for both the US & Japanese economies. Japan is the second largest holder of US debut. It would be financial suicide if either Japan or US were to break all ties. Our economies are more intertwined then most people realize. Furthermore it would create an Asian arms race.

< <

This is not in either or our countries interests. As much as I want to see US leave Japan. God only knows how much trust me. I am not so short sighed to see that this is going to take time.

< <

I get a feeling that Abe is getting a bit to bold for his own good. I am proud of my Japanese heritage but I am not a fool. I don't hate the US like many of my right wing nationalistic friends. They keep telling me how they want revenge.

< <

They have no idea what my grandfather went through. He knows all to well what the US is capable of. He told me that Japan's survival depends on it's ability to remain a strong but peaceful nation.

< <

That war will be our destruction and ultimate demise. The US is much better served as a friend of Japan not an enemy. I hope my government is wise enough to see that.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Highball... I think that's pretty insulting to the Japanese.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It's one thing to build an airframe and engine, but they would need cooperation with US companies if they want the best weapon systems and technology.

Garbage... Very few European air forces use American aircraft these days - even then it's the odd F16. Most European aircraft are multi-role, such as the Typhoon and Tornado, the latter one of the best interceptors in the world. The Typhoon is one of the most advanced warplanes in the world. France's Mirages have been combat proven across the decades.... Why can't the Japanese develop their own advanced weapons systems using Japanese technology? They don't need to go cup in hand to Uncle Sam for the latest version of the F15, or the cursed F35 family (which seem destined never to work properly).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Aren't drones making fighter Jets obsolete?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

5petalsAug. 23, 2014 - 09:08AM JST This is the problem with nationalistic education, it doesn't give people any clue about how insanely interconnected >every major global economy really is. If the U.S. tried to strong-arm Japan the only winner would be China (and even >they'd suffer from the economic backlash)."

The U.S. doesnt need Japan, it never did. It has propped up Japan for its defense purposes and to help Japan rebuild >after WW2. I think you got it all backwards. If US business and consumer support for Japan dried up overnight, it >would be Japan hurting, not the US.

Silly comment, Of course the US needed Japan. Post WWII it was the cheapest reliable source of labor and low cost goods. And I'm not taking about tin toys. From automobiles to ships Japan provided them to the US they were an industrial power even before being decimated in WWII, The same with Germany, US business and consumer support for Japan isn't going to "dry up" because even after Japanese products began costing more than domestic or other imports, the American public recognized Japanese quality, Can you imagine when China's labor costs reach a point where "msde in China" costs more than made in US/JPN/EU? Who in their right minds would buy made in China?

Japan is falling from #3, to be replaced by India at the # 4 spot in 15-20 years.

Falling from #2 to #3. A country that is a fraction of the size of China in area and population was #2 for decades. Japan was the ONLY industrialized country on a par with the west for most of the 20th century,

For all this "Japan can build her own >fighters, why even use the U.S." - that too shows a disconnect from what really >goes on. Its only recently that US >defense contractors etc have dropped the leash and let Japan in on the F35 etc.

Wrong, Pressure for Japan to participate has existed for a very long time and the participants in the program have benefitted from Japan finally agreeing to join.

If Japan is so great, why didn't they come up with the F35 concept on their own?

Because they have a peace constitution that doesn't support development of offensive weapons. Fortunately that is beginning to change.

Ive never been impressed with a country that copies/improves, then latter claims its somehow superior to everybody >else. If your so superior, make it on your own. The US is still able to do this. They allowed Japan to rebuild and sell the >US their products, and we come to believe that only Japan can make those products. When it comes to Japan, you >always must back up and look at history.

The entire world isn't impressed with a country that steals, hacks and buys to copy. Then produces and exports crap. Japan has a history of manufacturing products of high quality, China doesn't. Jealous much?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Yamiko OtokawaAUG. 22, 2014 - 11:06AM JST

Japanese can not trust their lives and depend their national security on foreigners. The foreigners always put their national interests ahead of Japanese interests. Building Japan's own fighter jets with Japan's own technologies can provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Japanese, allow Japan's foreign policy to be less dependent on, less subservient to other country like USA, etc. History has many examples of friends today becoming adversaries tomorrow. Japan must keep its options open.

That's right. Freedom, Independence and Sovereignity.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This has been a long time coming. It is about time Japan tests its expertise in military avionics on the world market with a genuine indigenous design and this is a true fifth generation fighter jet. I have read about the ATD-X for quite a few years now so look forward to what the testing brings about. From what I've read it is supposed to be at least on par with the F-22. They are supposed to be designing electromagnetic discharge weapons for it also. Perhaps they should do what America has done to them in the past - if the US wants in on it then show them the money.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

IF Abe or any Japanese politicians think that US will allow Japan to build an offensive jet fighter, then you are all out of your minds. The only reason you are allow to build your domestic diesel subs is because we no longer build diesel subs and you are not allowed to use anything nuclear within your military. You may build a model, or even a prototype. But that is as far as it goes. There are certain industries Japan simply shouldn't touch. US is allowing Japan to sell cars in US. Pay attention to the word allow. It will be extremely easy to "force" Japan to succumb to the pressure of raising the yen significantly if US sees Japan crosses a line. That's the reality. You can play the game and continue to live within the boundary or take a chance and see what happens. Most importantly, after you spend about a trillion yen on just R&D, how will you be able to recuperate the cost base? No one will dare to defy US and EU to purchase a Japanese made jet fighter. That means Japan's military (no longer JDF) will have to pay for it. And how will JDF be able to pay for this? Read my lips, higher taxes. Like I said before, you guys are all patriots, open up your wallet and pay more taxes for the next several decades and you can enjoy your new jet fighters. But do be mindful of the consequences of this. You don't have that many friends left that will take a bullet for you.

Landscape is clearly changing. The US are losing grip on geo-poitical affairs. The rise of China and the belligerence of Russia is something the US is finding hard to cope with and it will eventually be beyond them. They've fought wars in the middle east and Afghanistan and attempted to influence politics in those regions for no gain at all. The population is war weary, civilian and military.

The US won't interfere in Japan's affairs. Not like they have before and the Japanese won't stand for it. Japan are breaking out and feel the need to be less reliant on the US on the back of China's rise in power. I think you should appreciate that given the circumstances.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This headline makes it sound like it's news but it's just a rehash of the ATD-X program. If this program ever reaches the F-3 stage then Japan will have what it wanted from the twin engined F-22 Raptor. Our blocking the sale of an export version undoubtedly fueled this program, a decision which "may" come back to bite us in the a$$ if Japan ever decides to export. Still as I've said before, first line weapon sales are not just based on performance but interoperability with your main allies and the United States tends to lead the world in collective and bilateral defense agreements. So I really don't see a Japanese F-3 as a market competitor. A fighter plane is not a sedan or SUV. I do see it probably being able to blow the pants off anything "Made in China" though if Japanese products over the last several decades are an indicator. And there is also the possibility that the program may eventually not remain entirely domestic as US participation may arise in the future.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

...I am gonna let loose my inner geek now....

I hope this ATD-X is ultimately named as Valkyrie Fighter VF-14... with the three stage battle modes included...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese can not trust their lives and depend their national security on foreigners. The foreigners always put their national interests ahead of Japanese interests. Building Japan's own fighter jets with Japan's own technologies can provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Japanese, allow Japan's foreign policy to be less dependent on, less subservient to other country like USA, etc. History has many examples of friends today becoming adversaries tomorrow. Japan must keep its options open.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

First step, the mascot: SUTERUSU-KUN.

Not to be confused with SUTORESU-KUN, beavering away at the bottom of Japan's inverted demographic pyramid to pay for these totems.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan manufactures 60% of the Viper Zero built and designed the Mitsubishi F-1, T-2, Fuji T-1, Kawasaki C-1, Kawasaki T-4 and built Mitsubishi F-15 under license. Lottsa experienced engineers in Japan to go it alone.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

High performance 2010s 5th gen jet fighter aircraft in general vs 1950s turboprop submarine chaser in general = Ferrari vs station wagon.

These aircraft have different roles as do the automobiles you mention. What is the meaning of this comparison?

Japanese can not trust their lives and depend their national security on foreigners. The foreigners always put their national interests ahead of Japanese interests. Building Japan's own fighter jets with Japan's own technologies can provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Japanese, allow Japan's foreign policy to be less dependent on, less subservient to other country like USA, etc. History has many examples of friends today becoming adversaries tomorrow. Japan must keep its options open.

I agree with this. But I would also like to see Japan, and other like-minded countries, act in concert where possible and be active in promoting a state of peace and prosperity worldwide. Not directly related but I think, and mentioned previously, Japan, especially considering it's past since the war, is an excellent candidate for membership on the UN Security Council.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@highball7AUG. 22, 2014 - 04:59PM JST

IF Abe or any Japanese politicians think that US will allow Japan to build an offensive jet fighter, then you are all out of your minds. The only reason you are allow to build your domestic diesel subs is because we no longer build diesel subs and you are not allowed to use anything nuclear within your military.....US is allowing Japan to sell cars in US. Pay attention to the word allow. It will be extremely easy to "force" Japan to succumb to the pressure of raising the yen significantly if US sees Japan crosses a line.

I think you have overestimated U.S. capability too much.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@SaitamaRefugeeAUG. 22, 2014 - 06:07PM JST

Oh, I don't think so. It is you who underestimates the U.S.'s capability.

The USA is loosing influence on Japan day by day.

Japan is already under a ton of debt and has a shrinking population base.

It proves nothing. For instance, US and UE authorities imposed economical sanctions to Russia, promising to the whole World that "Russians will starve to death soon". In response Putin has changed trade partners, making new economical ties. Besides he banned U.S. and european food. Japan with "tons of debt" and "shrinking population" is capable to build domestic destroyers, submarines, tanks. Soon Japan will build domestic fighters-interceptors. This is the end of American domination over Japanese political life.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

highball7Aug. 22, 2014 - 04:59PM JST IF Abe or any Japanese politicians think that US will allow Japan to build an offensive jet fighter, then you are all out of your minds. The only reason you are allow to build your domestic diesel subs is because we no longer build diesel subs and you are not allowed to use anything nuclear within your military.

... and people wonder why the US has such a bad reputation?

Highball, Japan is the 3rd biggest economy in the world. The U.S. simply can't afford to play chicken with Japan, especially not in the current geo-political environment. If the US pushed too hard Japan will simply stop making loans to US businesses... you know what happened last time they did that? The latest financial crash.

This is the problem with nationalistic education, it doesn't give people any clue about how insanely interconnected every major global economy really is. If the U.S. tried to strong-arm Japan the only winner would be China (and even they'd suffer from the economic backlash).

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Keep in mind the ATD-X is only a demonstrator for studying new technology, they've not confirmed if they'll go ahead or what the F-3 will even look like. From here on Japan has four options. 1) Use the technology to upgrade the F-2 including making it stealthy; has the advantage of lower costs and existing platforms. 2) Build a fighter directly based on the Gripen sized ATD-X maybe even recycle old electronics saving time, costs and compensate for small internal weapon bays with external weapon pods like the Silent Hornet. 3) Build an F-22 analogue by 2027 (currently the most sought after project) and probably pay upwards of 200 million per jet, probably more. And 4) Build a 6th generation fighter: currently Japan has one major concept for this the 24DMU basically a mix between the F-22, YF-23 and PAK FA which will cost even more but depending on how things go might outperform all the competition unless someone beats them to 6th gen. Presently every nation is having problems both technical and financial not just Japan but that hasn't stop them from spending on defense and it probably shouldn't. And many of them are even worse off, at least the Japanese aren't starving in the tens of thousands while the government invests in new tools of war. Japan might be a late starter but as of this moment there are no guarantee who will win the race in the next 15 years. Personally I think Japan will end up taking option 2, it's cheaper, it's new and they could get it out quicker. But we'll see by 2018.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@5petalsAUG. 23, 2014 - 09:08AM JST

The U.S. doesnt need Japan, it never did. It has propped up Japan for its defense purposes and to help Japan rebuild afer WW2. I think you got it all backwards. If US business and consumer support for Japan dried up overnight, it would be Japan hurting, not the US.

...having japanese electronics at home and driving japanese car.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If the Japanese build a fighter anything like they build their cars, I think they'd be better off getting rid of those over priced, over budget F-35 strike fighters. I also heard that Canada is getting tired of all the over runs and delays. Maybe it's time to kick the F-35 program to the curb, and send a wake up call to those corporations who can't seem to get it together, or are they just milking this program for cent they can get?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

5petalsAug. 25, 2014 - 08:03AM JST "Technical expertise, limitless ingenuity and a history of designing and developing aircraft that pushed the boundaries of creative thinking" Have you ever worked for Japanese? Limitless ingenuity? Where did you get that from? I have been amazed at their >ability to look at something, and modify it. I have never seen any innovation and ingenuity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_inventions

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@fox Sora Winters

I'm all in favour of this. Many countries domestically produce fighter jets, Japan should as well. They've got the engineering knowledge and the cutting edge tech to produce stealth jets as good or better than the F-35, the F-117 and the B-2, and they can probably manage that quality at a much lower price tag as well.

Japan had the hardest time trying to get a two stage engine to propell their rocket in to space and you are saying they have cutting edge technology to produce stealth jets. I'm still laughing at this one!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's lack of nukes is a big factor in instability in East Asia, I would think.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If Japan developed Kawasaki P-1 ASW airplane to replace American P-3 Orion, why it is considered impossible for them to create a modern fighter-interceptor?

Ferrari vs station wagon.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@PhillyStreetzPACAUG. 22, 2014 - 09:59AM JST

If Japan is ready to dissolve partnership, it's time to bring troops home and let Japan be fully responsible for it's own security.

Fair wind and don't forget about personal belongings.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

MyJT2014 Correction “Capable” Not “Cable” Gomen nasai!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While this does sound fantastic, many people are forgetting Japan will need to do a lot of other things before they can even start.

First of all they'll need a vastly superior cyber defense, security, and intelligence gathering system (Chinese PLA hacking of corporate and government secrets ring a bell?) to protect such high level military equipment development.

Japan will also need raw materials to build planes! Thats a lot of metal and fuel etc. How much will that cost in importing? Unless Japan builds a relationship with places like Africa etc to get a steady stream of many things they'll need.

And selling said equipment to the rest of the world? As always, it depends on whom you're selling it to and what they'll do with it. The US and Russia and many other countries have gone down that road, and look where we are now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope this new fighter has wheelchair access, Japanese pilots in the future will need that.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Good luck with that. It's hard to match up to the battle-tested $600bn US military industry machine.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The USA is loosing influence on Japan day by day.

I wouldn't go so far as to say so. Japan never underestimates US capabilities. But it is true US is losing lots of friends among Japanese since they criticized Yasukuni shrine, but I don't think US cares.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Paul Arenson - spoken like a real head in sand Scandinavian (no offense meant to Scandinavians, but all this "neutral nation" mess is ridiculous) who thinks world peace can happen. Hitler died, but people who believe like him are alive and kicking. Communist China slaughtered who knows how many of it's own people since 1949, plus many foreigners. I personally know one man who was in their concentration camp in early 1950s. I long for peace. But, peace has never been in this world and never will be. Peace loving nations MUST be prepared to defend and die to try to keep peace, knowing it is a continual fight. Yep, we have to fight to keep the peace. Otherwise evil people will take over.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

these 'plans' are just an elaborate ruse to get a big discount from the US on future purchases

Japanese are not Americans. With China developing military machines and US being nice to them, Japan must do this.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@highball7 If the US had such control over Japan, why wouldn't it just have decided the terms under which Japan would join the TPP? or toppled Abe as prime minister for visiting Yasukuni? The Israeli example was a flagrant violation of their alliance with US. Building a jet fighter alone is no such thing: we let Europe build them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

night knight: At least Kawasaki P-1 looks like ferrari by comparison to P-3 Orion ( old station wagon). Japanese high technology speaks for itself.

To clarify.

Not USA P-3 vs Japan P-1 = Ferrari vs station wagon.

High performance 2010s 5th gen jet fighter aircraft in general vs 1950s turboprop submarine chaser in general = Ferrari vs station wagon.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, I hope they're going to get the paint work right. We need one with Doraemon painted on it, a few with Hello Kitty and maybe a Godzilla or two. Failing that, they could paint on the 4 seasons, some cherry blossoms, or just write "Let's Japan" on the sides or something. That would be great.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

highball7's threat may be right. But why is building a fighter jet crossing a line? And Japan's car selling in US are made in USA. Why do they want to stop that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

only if they turn into robots. I mean, c'mon

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Defense industry is a key show piece in Abe's economic strategy and Mr Abe need this industry to create good paying jobs and in order to accomplish this he needed to create potential threats like China to manipulate demands for most advanced weapon systems money can buy...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

M3M3M3 +1. People think they can just pull a fighter jet out of their behind. Japan doesn't employ Jesus at Mitsubishi or something.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ReformedBasher yes Japan could possible build its own fighter from scratch but itll cost a lot more and take much longer than they think. they could go the Chinese route and just steal the tech from Russia/US or they could buy it from the US (the weapons flight avionics hardware being the most difficult/expensive part of any new fighter) but then it would be a purely Japanese only fighter then would it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow. Lots of (vicarious?) nationalism in this thread, but not a lot of practicality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is much better off to invest the roughly US$1000 billion (100 000 billion yen) it has in US government debts called US Treasury bonds in building up Japanese defense industries to produce fighters, warships, etc. for export. Holding the US debts make Japanese lose billions of US dollars ( 1 US dollar=101 yen) a year and also is the return on interest (about 1%) is much worse than the returns Japan can gain from investing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

makes sense, current practice is to pay the US , the US dilly dallies around while costs soar, the end result is something that is not in the Japan spec- including cockpit size- and Japan must wait for congress approval before it can get a single jet, oh - and the jets are usually tied to more base concessions.

so build your own, shop your own around to the Philippines and Vietnam and such in lower cost variants

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, with their knowhow in nuclear technology (arguably the best in the world, despite, or even thanks to Fukushima), I would be really surprised if they didn't. That they don't brag about it, it's a totally different issue. A nuclear bomb is a very simple thing, compared to a nuclear power plant...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Secret nuclear weapon has no deterrent effect, primary goal of such programs if they are not really going to be used.

Also that nuclear weapons are against national policy and public opinion, due to the atomic bombings and apparently to policies imposed during Occupation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kaimycahlAUG. 26, 2014 - 12:51PM JST

and the cutting edge tech to produce stealth jets as good or better than the F-35, the F-117 and the B-2

This is a way to Dead End and Japan need not to repeat it. Stealth planes are effective to penetrate into airspace of countries with weak Air Defense capability. But even in Yugoslavia old radar successfully detected F-117. Modern radars can detect and target "stealth" planes of all kinds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your Perspective is important here. What does this article say? What does this imply? What are the issues? The article itself just reports what the Japan govt want to do. The very fact that it was announced and released to the news media and the world indicates something. While there are many consideration from economics to geopolitics, the release of such information, usually very secretive for other nations, such as the USA and China, it was disclosed openly. Why? INFORMATION (what kind and how much) and HOW that information is disseminated and communicated often reveals the reason, the rationale and the intent or purpose of such release. What is the reason? By releasing it to the media, it opens up discussion such as you have been carrying on. Since this is global in nature, what are the responses from other nations regarding this information? USA and China and even Russia have not responded... Why? Japan's allies and non-allies in Asia have not responded... Why? Other heavy industries from other countries have not responded... Why? What does all this mean, in terms of domestic and international concerns, economically, politically, militarily, etc?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since this is global in nature, what are the responses from other nations regarding this information? USA and China and even Russia have not responded... Why? Japan's allies and non-allies in Asia have not responded... Why?

Maybe they're giggling in private. Although if Japan starts now, and stays the course, maybe they will have an manned or unmanned fighter that could prove a deterrence to China, if produced in large quantities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both in the USA and in Japan, the History channel have been increasing programs based on wars and weapons and the military capabilities of both Japan, the USA and other NATO nations..... Why?

Is this a prelude to what is being planned or even expected?

Or is it a plan to prevent other offensive nations from over stepping the bounds?

All this while there is Wars throughout the worlds from the Middle East, Europe and Africa, slowly spreading to Asia... Why?

And now this announcement...

Are we sure that this is something that is just starting now... or already preplanned and programmed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

History Channel will increase coverage of topics that produce the most rise in viewership. Don't think they're concerned about adding a few Chinese generals to viewship.

There's already at least one Military cable channel in USA.

Tell the ladies to watch more History Channel if they want to get the boys' topics bumped off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kazetsukai The stuff on those channels is mostly old footage from past wars (of which the US has plenty). I think a bigger concern is China and Russia who teach hate to their youngest children and lack open access to the outside world to try and debunk it when they are older. There was a claim of something like 200 Chinese shows/films portraying Japan as the enemy this year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they develop and build it, they will have to sell it too, unless it is to remain a huge pork scheme with taxpayers money. Does the constitution allow to sell fighter jets?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the US had that much power over Japan they would have removed Article 9 and sent troops to the PG back in 1991.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yamiko OtokawaAUG. 22, 2014 - 11:06AM JST Japanese can not trust their lives and depend their national security on foreigners. The foreigners always put their national interests ahead of Japanese interests. Building Japan's own fighter jets with Japan's own technologies can provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for Japanese, allow Japan's foreign policy to be less dependent on, less subservient to other country like USA, etc. History has many examples of friends today becoming adversaries tomorrow. Japan must keep its options open.

I cringe when I hear that word... "foreigner". The Japanese use it too much to racially label everyone that does not have direct blood back to the samurai ages. While it is awesome for Japan to build it's own fighter (AEM-ZERO anyone?) I don't think that it is a problem Japan trusts the US. If it wasn't for the U.S, China would have taken over Japan by now. I think you should show a little more respect when it comes to this issue. These foreigners (Being the U.S service men and women) are putting their lives on the line for.... foreigners being the Japanese people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here come the Gundam!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan cuts ties to puppet master, step by step.

-1 ( +19 / -20 )

"...the Tokyo government will decide by the 2018 financial year..."

It will take way more time and money (yes, just as what happens in the US) than it's worth. My prediction is they will ultimately decide against it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Dennis Bauer: I am looking forward to the AVF(Advanced Variable Fighter) finally the Macross fighter will become reality!

LOL: Dennis Bauer's post next to his Hello Kitty icon.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MyJT2014: NO, it only means more jobs and profits for the Military Industrial Complex. It's not like they are known for their charity towards average citizens, plus they always find loopholes in paying the same taxes the rest of us do.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ReformedBasher: These aircraft have different roles as do the automobiles you mention. What is the meaning of this comparison?

"Ferrarri vs station wagon" was in response to night knight's post copied below. Replacing P-3 with P-1 is not on par with replacing F-15 with F-22/F-35. Or what F-35 should be, if it's not.

night knight: If Japan developed Kawasaki P-1 ASW airplane to replace American P-3 Orion, why it is considered impossible for them to create a modern fighter-interceptor?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wtf people stop criticizing the damn jet it's not like you can build a better one to me personally the jet is badass and it's smaller than all of the stealth fighter jets.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I think you have overestimated U.S. capability too much.

Oh, I don't think so. It is you who underestimates the U.S.'s capability.

Japan is already under a ton of debt and has a shrinking population base. Only a truly foolish person thinks this is a good way to use already tax money.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Good.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Next generation of fighters or the one after that may be completely unmanned.

Deterrence now is maintained by nuclear option, technology spread and resource differences between nations, lack of will (higher living standards, more value on life of military in general, and less control from top in the freer nations), and value of trained pilots.

Guess we'll see in the future if reduction of technology/resource differences and lack of pilots onboard increases nations' aggressiveness over the other factors.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't start if you don't finish, otherwise money is wasted.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Granted, Japan is free country, and it has the full rights to do whatever it sees fits.

That being said, but there is no free lunch though. Let’s put enormous financial burden on Japanese tax payers aside for a minute, the real issue is that Japan faces a deadly constraint if armed conflict takes hold, namely, lacking of qualified manpower. For instance, this year the Japanese Defense Ministry wants to get 47,900 reserves, yet only about 70% of quota are being filled, the number of the vacant spots is creeping up year by year.

Let me put this in context for people to understand the implications: This means that Japan’s defense weaponry as well as the servicemen is front-loaded. When a full scaled war starts, Japan’s advantage on its navy and air force would be soon vanished. Why? think about how much time Japan will needs to rebuild its warships and warplanes to replace the damaged and destroyed ones, let alone to train qualified personnel to operate on them. Another thing is that Japan is relatively a small country in terms of landmass with concentrated industrial production bases, if those industrial facilities would be destroyed by enemy's missiles attacks or air air bombing, then Japan will be in a big trouble.

Now, leaving your emotions off your keyboard for a few secons, you know why Japan needs peace rather than arm race or a war. Think of 3/11 and multiply it 5-10 folds, Can a gray Japan handle that?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

ReformedBasher: @turbotsat

So are saying that "Japan" is incapable of manufacturing advanced fighters?

Please give me some idea of your expertise that would convince me that I should take you seriously.

Failing that, please provide a compelling and objective argument, based on facts, that would give me reason to agree with you.

I didn't say "Japan incapable of manufacturing advanced fighters", or "impossible". I said "Ferrari vs station wagon" to indicate night knights "If Japan developed Kawasaki P-1 ASW airplane to replace American P-3 Orion, why it is considered impossible for them to create a modern fighter-interceptor?" was using a bad example in P-1 vs P-3 submarine chaser to extrapolate to Japan vs World advanced fighter.

As far as if they're LIKELY to make it from concept through production ...

Japan's recent fighters using designs borrowed from US manufacturers and built jointly with US manufacturers with not all US tech. And by recent meaning all 2 fighters developed in last 35 years. No new F-15Js since 1997, no new F-2s since 2011. Mitsubishi fighter production idle since 2011? People still on hand? Kawasaki P-1 built by a different company, right?

Fraud & Waste charges included? USA spends way more than they need to on military tech due to this. Japan will magically avoid that?

Japanese populace want to spend money on fighter development/production when they don't need it? With all these other headlines saying how bad Japan's debt load is? If populace wants it now will they keep steady through production? In a country with revolving doors made just for PMs? Because, you know, Costa Rica has a similar kind of deal with US for military protection, and doesn't even need to fund a standing army to get it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Looking back in history, the only time Japan was invaded by China was when the Mongols conquered China. The Mongols built a great fleet only to be mostly destroyed by typhoon. The typhoon was called "kamikaze". If Japan builds its own fighter aircraft, it will be mostly for export. Japanese cars made by Toyota, Nissan, etc. outlast, outperform other countries' cars except "may be" German cars. I expect Japanese fighter aircraft to be superior to those from many countries once the necessary resources are invested. So, I say, go build the fighters. It is good for jobs, good for exports.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Garbage... Very few European air forces use American aircraft these days - even then it's the odd F16. Most European aircraft are multi-role, such as the Typhoon and Tornado, the latter one of the best interceptors in the world.

OK, so let's buy the Eurofighter then. Why wait 25 years for Mitsubishi to catch up and learn the lessons of Bae Systems and Dassault at huge cost? Both companies were essentially welfare programs of the state and heavily subsidised.

European fighters also have a small export market to finance part if the development, Japan is unlikely to be able to find customers for political reasons.

This whole idea is like going to a Ferrari dealership and saying 'instead of buying that, I'm going to build my own'. It will be more expensive, less reliable and inferior for the next 25 years.

People tend to think Japan is somehow inherently good at manufacturing and development. Beyond cars, this isn't always true.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What does Japan have again?

Technical expertise, limitless ingenuity and a history of designing and developing aircraft that pushed the boundaries of creative thinking. Also, so what if Japan's military hasn't "done something" in the past 70 years. Better that than to go around fighting every country that so much as speaks out against it. The US is motivated by its determination to remain as the strongest superpower, despite that path making it one of the most hated. Japan's motivating is defending against two more of the most hated nations on earth (China and North Korea, in case you needed to ask). You'd be surprised what people come up with when they think about defence over offence.

Aren't drones making fighter Jets obsolete?

I'm going to quote Iron Man here: "Nothing will ever beat a pilot's intuition or judgement." Sure, Drones are controlled remotely, but that's part of the problem: no-one's in the cockpit. Intuition is hampered in that situation. Evasive manoeuvres in particular suffer heavily, since it is no longer a life-or-death situation. It's also harder to gauge a situation when you're sitting at a computer screen with a joystick in your hand. It's one thing to engage hostile aircraft in what amounts to a flight simulator, and another thing entirely to engage the same hostile aircraft when you're in the cockpit of an actual jet, fighting for your life.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just stating the facts guys. Not trying to insult anyone. No Japanese jet fighters had ever been allowed for export under US directives. Ever. Taiwan and South Korea at a point in time wanted to buy the F2 but that went away right after the news broke about the inquiries. Taiwan ended up getting a watered down version of F16 and SK got their F15 and now forking out billions for LMT's F35. Just like Japan. Its not fiction or opinion. Its a fact.

If you guys don't know how US foreign and defense policies work, you should pay more attention because that directly affects how US views Japan and what Japan can or cannot do.

US can take a hit just to protect Japan's economy and national interest but that only go so far. The defense industry wield a HUGE MAGIC WAND in our gov't. They will never tolerate Japan trying to sneak in here taking a bite out of our cake while using our military to protect Japan at the same time. Choose one or the other.

To give you an example, just BA, NOC, LMT, 3 of the standouts in the defense industry alone comprises more than 1% of US's entire national GDP. That's 3 companies alone. Defense budget accounts just under 4% in our entire GDP. That's budget only, not counting these companies' export revenue.

If you think US will tolerate Japan to benefit under our protection and take a bite out of the Jet Fighter game, you're all out of your minds. If anyone wants to take a bet, I will bet everything I have that Japan's jet fighters will only be used domestically, if even that's possible.

Let me give you another example, when the Israeli transferred their Lavi Jet Fighter program to the Chinese, their Defense Minister and several top officials stepped down shortly after. And their Pharma firm Teva unexpectedly lost a few bids on getting some US contracts on generic drugs citing top-down pressure. That Lavi Jet program is the predecessor for the J10 multi-role fighter of China that was lauded by most in the aviation industry as a light and capable fighter. Design of that was supposed to be an upgrade to the F16 but it was deemed too expensive and Israel scrapped it and practically gave it to China as compensation of negating the AWACS contract that was pressured by US.

If we can do that to Israel, our staunchest ally in the world, what do you think we can do to Japan?

Don't under estimate US's power and influence over Japan or even China. There are lines you don't cross even if you want to.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Amazing how the truth ( Too bad the Japanese government doesn't have 500 billion yen for the development, let alone the ensuing operational costs. ) gets 12 thumbs-down, lol

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Fighter jets. We don't need them. Not from U.S. Not made in Japan. The arms race just wastes more money, convincing people they are safe while making everyone targets. Spend the money on peace.. On compensating those who gave up their land and livelihoods when Fukushima Dai-ichi, another pet project of Keidanren that made big money for the military indistrial complexm exploded. Again the hawks, the vultures, the money hungry are after a windfall, while the country's social welfare goes to the dogs.

No jets, no war, no way.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I wouldn't be surprised if these 'plans' are just an elaborate ruse to get a big discount from the US on future purchases.

I agree with @highball7. It would be the US military industrial complex that would attempt to foil Japan's plans at every turn. It's one thing to build an airframe and engine, but they would need cooperation with US companies if they want the best weapon systems and technology.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@scipantheist- lol

Let's also keep the numbers in perspective. Only a few hundred aircraft would ever be built even if Japan were to replace all it's fighter (around 400 fighters). There would not be massive factories creating as many jobs as people imagine. The huge cost of fighters reflects the tremendous amount of money that goes into research in the form of inefficient subsidies over decades of development.

I think Japan should focus on commercially viable civil aviation. That's where the world would appreciate Japanese workmanship, quality and safety. If the government wants to subsidise something, it should focus on unique projects like the HondaJet that has the potential to change the private jet market. Just look how successful Brazil has been with Embraer.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Lmao at the people who think Japan can go it alone. Some facts: three times the population (not all old farts, either), three times the gdp, virtually limitless borrowing capability, nukes, and a military that has done something in the past 70 years. What does Japan have again?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yea.. Japan screwed US.. That's way all of the American car plants are in the Americas.. Giving jobs to them, not JPN... smell the Vaseline JPN. Please hold your own and stop counting on others... and then complaning

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yep spend more money

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

"Technical expertise, limitless ingenuity and a history of designing and developing aircraft that pushed the boundaries of creative thinking"

Have you ever worked for Japanese? Limitless ingenuity? Where did you get that from? I have been amazed at their ability to look at something, and modify it. I have never seen any innovation and ingenuity.

The Zero hardly pushed the boundaries of creative thinking, it was the U.S. who came up with the self sealing tanks and armor protection for pilots, as well as the innovative Thatch weave that slaughetered the superior Japanese at Midway.

The Japanese were more "superior" than the U.S. during WW2, but due to an obvious lack of innovation (that they are still plagued with today) the were completely annihilated. It was only due to McAuthurs generosity that Japan was able to rebuild and become a soverign nation.

There are some that will defend Japan, ignore history, and teach us that the US has Japan to thank for everything. Im not one of them )

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It's a good idea if the finished product were rolled out and effective, but this would require Japan starting a program from zero based on current overseas models, while the US and others would progress their fighters to the point that those made here would already be obsolete. And needless to say it would cost tax payers, who would see no benefit from the profit any sales of the jets would garner, a fortune, with no guarantee they'll work. There would need to be a lot of work done first while still importing other jets, then they could gradually ease into it, maybe.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

IF Abe or any Japanese politicians think that US will allow Japan to build an offensive jet fighter, then you are all out of your minds. The only reason you are allow to build your domestic diesel subs is because we no longer build diesel subs and you are not allowed to use anything nuclear within your military.

You may build a model, or even a prototype. But that is as far as it goes. There are certain industries Japan simply shouldn't touch.

US is allowing Japan to sell cars in US. Pay attention to the word allow. It will be extremely easy to "force" Japan to succumb to the pressure of raising the yen significantly if US sees Japan crosses a line.

That's the reality. You can play the game and continue to live within the boundary or take a chance and see what happens.

Most importantly, after you spend about a trillion yen on just R&D, how will you be able to recuperate the cost base? No one will dare to defy US and EU to purchase a Japanese made jet fighter. That means Japan's military (no longer JDF) will have to pay for it. And how will JDF be able to pay for this?

Read my lips, higher taxes. Like I said before, you guys are all patriots, open up your wallet and pay more taxes for the next several decades and you can enjoy your new jet fighters. But do be mindful of the consequences of this. You don't have that many friends left that will take a bullet for you.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

JoeBigs: "keep the barbarians at bay", " nothing says hello like a 450+kiloton detonation from a M.I.R.V." Wow, showing your true colors again I see! I guess your not satisfied with simply rewriting article nine, you want to completly do away with it. The name "warmonger" comes to mind.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

"Highball, Japan is the 3rd biggest economy in the world. The U.S. simply can't afford to play chicken with Japan, especially not in the current geo-political environment. If the US pushed too hard Japan will simply stop making loans to US businesses... you know what happened last time they did that? The latest financial crash.

This is the problem with nationalistic education, it doesn't give people any clue about how insanely interconnected every major global economy really is. If the U.S. tried to strong-arm Japan the only winner would be China (and even they'd suffer from the economic backlash)."

The U.S. doesnt need Japan, it never did. It has propped up Japan for its defense purposes and to help Japan rebuild afer WW2. I think you got it all backwards. If US business and consumer support for Japan dried up overnight, it would be Japan hurting, not the US. Japan is falling from #3, to be replaced by India at the # 4 spot in 15-20 years. For all this "Japan can build her own fighters, why even use the U.S." - that too shows a disconnect from what really goes on. Its only recently that US defense contractors etc have dropped the leash and let Japan in on the F35 etc. If Japan is so great, why didnt they come up with the F35 concept on their own? Ive never been impressed with a country that copies/improves, then latter claims its somehow superior to everybody else. If your so superior, make it on your own. The US is still able to do this. They allowed Japan to rebuild and sell the US their products, and we come to believe that only Japan can make those products. When it comes to Japan, you always must back up and look at history.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

If Japan is ready to dissolve partnership, it's time to bring troops home and let Japan be fully responsible for it's own security. Who cares what it's Asian neighbors think other than our partners in Philippines & Australia.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

All I can say is, wouldn't cooperation be cheaper? Failing that, wouldn't nukes be cheaper?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

They are copying technology released from the F35, although allot of it remains secret with the U.S. Kawasaki can copy the P3 all day, but the secrets are scrubbed before they get it. I dont see any good from this. Japan will someday break ties with the U.S. once they get strong enough; then its a new game in the region. Its entirely the U.S. fault because they removed the leash at the wrong time.

Once Japan "surpasses" (or they think they have) the U.S., then its Japan export and control in the region. Those who fell for the sweetheart Japan routine will be kicking themselves latter.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

China and United States share common interests on critical security matter to reign in Japan's military prowess.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

From the comments here, starting to realize why Japan doesn't trust the US: why would the US want to help a wheelchair country?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

"Developing a purely domestic fighter is estimated to cost a massive 500-800 billion yen"

Too bad the Japanese government doesn't have 500 billion yen for the development, let alone the ensuing operational costs.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

Insanity

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

United States have learned lessons from Mideast that onetime ally can be a bitter enemy in the future, Saddam Hussein ever was a staunch ally of United States to resist the Iran influence in Gulf region.

But when Saddam Hussein have bigger stomach, and the united states can not feed him, he will turn one' gun and shoot the one who feed him.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

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