A new perspective on exporting F-22s to Japan

Two Japan policy experts have written an excellent piece for the Japan Times on the F-22 export issue. The idea of exporting F-22s to Tokyo was thought to have died two years ago, but suddenly revived in the past six weeks even as the F-22 production line’s survival is in doubt. But the Japan Times op/ed suggests the ongoing debate may be driven as much by domestic politics in Japan as any security issues. 

Hurdles to a Japanese F-22

Special to The Japan Times

North Korea’s return to saber-rattling has broughtmilitary affairs back to the top of the Japan-U.S. agenda. As manyJapanese continue to have — unfounded — doubts about the commitment ofthe Obama administration to the bilateral alliance, they are pushingfor Washington to allow Japan to purchase America’s most advancedfighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor.


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2 Responses to A new perspective on exporting F-22s to Japan

  1. Axure 2 July, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Not a very professional article.

    First of all, licensing production to Japan is a total pie in the sky. This shouldn’t be even considered by serious scholars.

    Second, they aren’t talking about the need to develop a weaker version of the F-22, which would cost A LOT.

  2. Starviking 4 July, 2009 at 2:48 pm #


    this is an article written for a Japanese newspaper – from a Japanese perspective the subject of licensed production has to be mentioned. In Japan major buys of military aircraft have to be produced in Japan – it’s a political imperative.

    On the subject of the weaker model which would need to be produced for Japan – first, the article is almost 2 months old, I’m not sure the ‘export model’ was being bandied about two months ago. Second – once again, this is a for a Japanese audience. Derating the F-22 would not get much of a mention until the chances of getting a full-up F-22 were explicitly stated.

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