Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Friday his ministry is studying whether F-35B fighter jets can be deployed on Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carriers, a move likely to be viewed as yet another signal Japan is retreating from its strictly defense-oriented military posture.
Under the postwar Constitution, the government has maintained it cannot possess “attack aircraft carriers” because they are could be deemed offensive weapons exceeding the “minimum force” needed for Japan to protect itself.
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