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    Japan to Continue Buying US Military Equipment Amid Conflict on Korean Peninsula

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    Japan plans to continue routinely purchasing high-performance US military equipment, including F-35 joint strike fighter, to enhance the country's defense amid tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japan has been and intends to continue purchasing US military equipment, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said he would allow South Korea and Japan to buy an increased amount of "highly sophisticated" military equipment from the United States.

    "As for our country, we agreed to acquire sophisticated US defense equipment, starting with the F-

    People wander around a life-size model of US planemaker Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II 5th generation fighter plane during the Farnborough aerospace show, in Farnborough, England
    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
    People wander around a life-size model of US planemaker Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II 5th generation fighter plane during the Farnborough aerospace show, in Farnborough, England
    35, in order to improve defense. According to the plans and directions of defense and the medium-term plan of equipping the self-defense forces, to ensure full defense capabilities of our country, we intend to routinely buy high-performance military equipment made in the United States as [such equipment is] indispensable for the defense of the country. And we will continue to do so," Suga said.

    Washington has been extending its military cooperation with its eastern allies, South Korea and Japan, amid the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused by North Korea's repeated ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

    As for Japan, its Defense Ministry reportedly requested Thursday a record-high budget of 5.26 trillion yen ($48.2 billion) for the 2018 fiscal year for the purchase of new assets necessary to protect the country from the North's threats. According to media reports, these assets include the US-made land-based Aegis Ashore anti-missile system and the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile. There are currently dozens of US PAC-3 anti-missile systems deployed across Japan.

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    military equipment, F-35, Japan, United States
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