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On 9 January, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that a far-reaching economic stimulus package will include an additional $2.1 billion in defense spending to be initiated within the next few months. This supplementary funding is in addition to the existing funding previously programmed into the defense budget for 2012-2013, but is separate from an increase in defense spending requested for the next fiscal year that was announced on 8 January.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) formally notified the United States Congress on 30 April of a potential Foreign Military Sale of Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to Japan. The sale includes an initial order for four F-35A Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) stealth fighters with an option for the purchase of an additional 38 F-35A CTOL aircraft. The cost of the purchase is estimated to be $10 billion.
Japan Self Defense Air Force future replacement of F-4J fighters (F-X) is becoming a head-to-head competition between the two American aerospace giants, Boeing and Lockheed martin, offering the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and an advanced variant F/A-18 Super Hornet. Tokyo is expected to make a decision next month. Besides the two fighters’ operational capabilities Japan is likely to give high marks for involvement of domestic companies.