Japan, UK, Italy Collaborate on New Fighter Jet

    Photo: Torsakarin/Japan Ministry of Defense [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • Italy, Japan, and the UK on Friday announced a plan to integrate their fighter jet development projects. This is Japan's first non-American, major industrial defense collaboration since World War II.

    • Japan wants to expand its relationship with allies beyond the US with an eye on potential military competition with China and Russia. Despite not being part of the project, the US Department of Defense endorsed Japan’s partnership.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Not only are Japan, Italy, and the UK combining their technological prowess to create innovative defense fighters, but the countries are also strengthening alliances to preserve global democracy. By building strong national advantages in their defense industries, these countries can build a robust system to support a US-led alliance.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    By drastically increasing its defense spending and engaging in large-scale military projects, Japan is creating an unstable security environment in East Asia. Tokyo is playing with fire by revisiting an interest in military activities that it abandoned for decades after World War II and throwing its lot in with an aggressive Western hegemonic order.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Japan will respond with military forces if China invades Taiwan by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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