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Ruling Bloc Accord on Fighter Exports by End of Feb. Uncertain

Ruling Bloc Accord on Fighter Exports by End of Feb. Uncertain

   Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Uncertainty is growing over whether the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, can reach a conclusion by the end of February on the export to a third country of defense equipment jointly developed by Japan and other countries.
   Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also LDP president, has called for working-level talks between his party and Komeito to reach a conclusion on the issue within this month, before Japan, Britain and Italy begin full-fledged talks next month on details of their joint development of a next-generation fighter jet.
   However, Komeito remains cautious on the issue, and some in the LDP are urging the prime minister to step in to break the deadlock.
   At a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Monday, Kishida reiterated the deadline at the end of February for concluding the talks within the ruling bloc.
   "It's a matter of national interest," Kishida told the same committee on Tuesday. "I'll carefully explain the importance of the joint development."

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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