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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 April 10 - 16  > US-made state-of-the-art fighter crashes into sea off Aomori
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2019 April 10 - 16 TOP3 [SDF]

US-made state-of-the-art fighter crashes into sea off Aomori

April 11, 2019

The Defense Ministry on April 10 announced that an Air Self-Defense Force state-of-the-art F-35A fighter crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Aomori Prefecture at around 7 p.m. on the previous day. This will further arouse criticism against the Abe government’s controversial plan to buy more than 100 F-35s from the U.S.

The ministry says that it will continue searching for the missing pilot and collecting parts of the crashed aircraft and will investigate the cause of the crash.

The Japanese Communist Party Aomori Prefectural Committee and JCP members of the prefectural assembly on April 10 made representations to the Aomori Governor after the F-35A went missing over the Pacific Ocean as the aircraft was deployed in May 2018 to the ASDF Misawa base in the prefecture. The JCP said that the highest priority should be given to the rescue of the pilot and stressed that the need is to look into the cause of the accident, suspend flights of F-35As, and stop deploying additional F-35As to the Misawa base.

F-35As are the most advanced stealth fighter jets which can be equipped with anti-ground and anti-ship weapons. The Japanese government initially planned to purchase 42 F-35s in total over several years after 2012. The Abe government in December 2018 decided to buy additional 105 units in line with the U.S. Trump Administration’s pressure to buy more U.S.-made weapons. It will cost more than 1.7 trillion yen to obtain 147 F-35s.

JCP parliamentarian Miyamoto Toru in February at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting criticized the massive purchase of the military aircraft. He cited a report submitted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to Congress which points out that F-35s have nearly 1,000 flaws and defects. Miyamoto urged the government to refrain from using taxpayers’ money for such an accident-prone military aircraft.

Past related articles:
> Money used to buy 6 F-35s would eliminate the number of children waiting to enter daycare centers [March 1, 2019]
> Japan still intends to buy 105 F35s with its 966 design flaws [February 16, 2019]
> JCP Koike comments on Abe government’s new defense program [December 19, 2018]
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