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U.S. to Send Advanced Combat Aircraft to Japan as Tensions Grow in Region

Two F-15EX fighter jets. U.S. Air Force.
Two F-15EX fighter jets. U.S. Air Force.

The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that United States forces in Japan will receive a major upgrade of their fighter jet inventories amid increasing regional tensions with China and North Korea.

The modernization plan will reportedly include the replacement of 48 F-15’s with upgraded EX designs at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and the introduction of almost 50 F-35 stealth fighters to replace the F-16 fleet at the Misawa Air Base in Aomori.

In addition to the U.S. Air Force augmentations, the plans include the adjusting of the numbers of advanced F-35’s at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni.

Military spokespersons confirmed that the decision was made in coordination with the Japanese government and reflects current plans to enhance the defense alliance between the two countries.

Related Story: Biden Says Enhanced Military Alliance with Japan ‘Not Aimed’ at China

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