The United States has announced it will deploy its controversial state-of-the-art F35 jets on Iwakuni military base in Japan in 2017. According to Japanese media, a total of 16 planes are expected at the compound.
On its official Twitter account, the US Forces in Japan announced Washington will deploy F35 aircraft to its Marine Corps base in the city of Iwakuni.
“ANNOUNCED: The future of U.S. Marine Corps aviation, the F-35 Lightning II set to hit MCAS Iwakuni in 2017,” the statement reads.
According to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, the notification for Tokyo is already in place. “US officially notifies Japan of deployment of 16 F-35 fighters,” the agency says.
In August, the Japanese government informed the authorities of Iwakuni that the US was planning to deploy 16 of its F35 fighters at the base, starting in 2017. The first batch of 10 planes is set to arrive in January, while six more are expected to be stationed by August 2017, Japan Times reported.
The jets will replace the F/A-18 fighters and the AV-8 Harrier jets currently stationed in Iwakuni. Japan would hence become the first foreign US base to get F35 aircraft.