F-35 role may face arms export ban


Japan’s planned participation in the production of the F-35 fighter jet could be in violation of its arms export ban, government officials said.

The government will continue to support the efforts of Japanese companies to participate in the project, the officials said Tuesday.

Some opposition political parties are likely to attack the administration over the issue.

The Air Self-Defense Force plans to introduce the Lockheed Martin Corp. stealth aircraft as its next-generation fighter jet in fiscal 2016. The ASDF plans to buy 42 of the aircraft.

Japan has a rule that does not allow sales of weapons to any country that is or is likely to become involved in an armed conflict. There is no guarantee that the U.S. will not sell F-35 jets using Japanese components to such countries, the officials said.