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Japan Defense Procurement Distorted by Shopping Spree for U.S. Weapons

Japan Defense Procurement Distorted by Shopping Spree for U.S. Weapons

   By Takashi Fudo
   Tokyo, June 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's efforts to improve its defense capabilities have apparently been distorted by the shopping spree for U.S. military hardware by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration.
   The expensive shopping list includes state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jets. A close look at procurement plans raises suspicion that Japan is giving more importance to pleasing Washington than improving its defense capabilities.
   The government recently scrapped its plan to deploy the U.S.-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system in the northeastern prefecture of Akita and the western prefecture of Yamaguchi.
   With Defense Minister Taro Kono reviewing defense procurement without exceptions, officials in the Defense Ministry are wondering what will get the ax next.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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