Japan wants British weaponry for South China Sea standoff

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
By Paul Martin

31 Aug, 2016

Tensions in the South China Sea have led Japan to splurge on British-made hardware to prepare for a confrontation with China. Recent saber-rattling by North Korea has also given Japan cause to restock its armory.

Antagonism between China and Japan over a contested island archipelago has the Japanese Defense Ministry chasing an injection of cash to buy a range of new kit.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that, among other high-tech equipment, the Japanese are keen to purchase 11 AAV7 amphibious assault craft produced by British arms giant BAE Systems.

The move has been inspired by the ongoing confrontation between Japan and China over a set of small islands northeast of Taiwan – known in Japan as the Senkakus – over which both nations have staked a claim.

The Defense Ministry is also trying to convince the government to free up around 100 billion yen (about US$965 million) to buy a fleet of F-35 jets like those Britain is bringing into service, as well as Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and Chinook helicopters.

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