13:06 GMT +311 December 2019
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    US Starts Relocation of Fifth-Generation F-35 Fighter Jets to Japan

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    The United States has sent a batch of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to the Iwakuni military base located in southwestern Japanese prefecture of Yamaguchi, Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — In October 2016, the US Forces Japan (USFJ) said that Washington would send the stealth fighters to the Iwakuni base. In December, local authorities approved the deployment.

    Washington has sent one fighter jet within the framework of its plans to deploy 16 F-35s starting from January 2017.

    The United States plans to replace F/A-18 and AV-8 Harrier aircraft with the F-35s in Japan.

    Tokyo has a long history of relations with Washington that goes back to the 18th century. The bilateral cooperation has intensified after World War II, as the two nations have established a high-profile cooperation in a wide range of spheres, including in security and economy.

    The F-35 project is the most ambitious and expensive weapon system in the history of the US Defense Department, at a cost of some $1.5 trillion.

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