Japan to deploy F-35 fighters at Misawa Air Base from fiscal 2017

Kyodo

Next-generation F-35 fighter jets will be deployed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture from fiscal 2017, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Wednesday.

“We will coordinate with the U.S. side so local residents will not have to feel concerned,” Onodera told Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura in a meeting in the city of Aomori.

Asked by Mimura to take steps to prevent accidents or other incidents involving the aircraft that could endanger the public, Onodera pledged efforts to ensure safety.

About 20 F-35 jets will be deployed at the Air Self-Defense Force’s Misawa base, the defense chief told reporters after the meeting.

The deployment plan for the stealth fighter aircraft was revealed following the launch of temporary operations early this month of U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drones at the U.S. Misawa base on the same site.