Global Combat Air Program (GCAP):
Why its Important to Produce Their Own:
Japan producing its own missiles holds significant strategic importance for several reasons, the most important being to strengthen strategic autonomy, provide greater flexibility according to their needs, and provide an economic incentive in building jobs and advancing domestic research and innovation.
While pursuing an indigenous jet and missile program, Japan can still collaborate with its allies, like the United States, to exchange expertise, enhance interoperability, and strengthen defense cooperation in the face of common challenges.
Strict US export controls on military technology have also sometimes limited what customers of the F-35, or other hardware, can tweak to adapt them to their specific needs.
Ultimately, the pursuit of a domestic build aligns with Japan’s broader goals of ensuring national security, contributing to regional stability, and maintaining a strong position in the evolving global security landscape.
Japan May Export Them:
Historically, Japan has tight restrictions on the exportation and sale of military hardware, due to it’s naturally pacifist policy. However, Japan’s ruling parties are including provisions in their latest security policy blueprint that would allow the export of next-generation fighter jets to other countries.