Japan is considering buying up to 100 F-35 stealth fighters from the U.S. for more than $8.8 billion as it seeks to counter China's growing military presence in the region, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The reported purchase comes as President Donald Trump pushes Japan to buy more military equipment and other U.S. products, pointing to Washington's huge trade deficit with Tokyo.
Japan has already decided to buy 42 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S. and is now considering purchasing as many as 100 more, worth more than one trillion yen ($8.8 billion), according to the evening edition of the Nikkei daily.
The cabinet is expected to approve the plan in mid-December when the nation's defense program guidelines are released, the business daily said.
A defense ministry spokesman declined to confirm the report, saying only: "Everything related to additional purchases is under consideration."
In September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly told Trump: "Introducing high-spec military equipment, including U.S. equipment, is important to strengthen Japan's defense."
© 2018 AFP