Takagi: PM Kishida’s public explanation needed on possible next-gen jet export

February 29 , 2024

On Feb. 28, Komeito’s Takagi (left) met his counterpart Kisaburo Tokai to discuss Japan’s 6th-gen jet fighter programOn Feb. 28, Komeito’s Takagi (left) met his counterpart Kisaburo Tokai to discuss Japan’s 6th-gen jet fighter program

On February 28, the Policy Research Council chairs of the two coalition government parties—Kisaburo Tokai of the Liberal Democratic Party and Yosuke Takagi of Komeito, respectively—agreed to continue their discussion on the possible of export of an advanced stealth jet fighter to third parties.

The two parties remain in disagreement on the need for the Global Combat Air Program, a trilateral partnership of the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan to co-develop a sixth-generation fighter aircraft. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration is also seeking to deliver the jet to third-party governments, essentially lifting a longstanding legal ban on the export of lethal weapons.

Takagi told reporters that while his talks with Tokai made some progress, Komeito opposes the government’s decision until Kishida offered a convincing explanation in the Diet to allay public concerns. Komeito is also skeptical as to why Japan should partner in the international initiative.