Trump secures major F-35 deal on state visit to Japan

Japan has agreed to buy another 105 jet fighters from the U.S.

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Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe hold joint press conference (AP)

Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe hold joint press conference (AP)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President of the United States Donald Trump announced on Monday (May 27) that Japan will purchase 105 F-35 fighter jets, making it the U.S. ally with the largest F-35 fleet.

The announcement was made by the American leader in Tokyo at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his state visit to Japan, reported Agence-France Presse.

During the trip, Trump became the first world leader to meet with Japan’s new emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

Trump stressed the importance of helping Japan boost its defense capabilities at the conference. He also pledged to cooperate with Japan over space exploration, stating that “there is nothing more important right now than space from a military standpoint,” according to Associated Press.

Neither Trump nor Abe elaborated on the details of the project. Abe, for his part, said the U.S. and Japan have become increasingly close, and that Japan is seeking to expand its investments in key U.S. states.

CNBC reported that Trump during the press event touted that Japan has procured “tremendous amounts” of military gear from the U.S.

Despite their comradery, thorny trade issues remain between the U.S. and Japan. Trump suggested the U.S. will wait until after Japan’s upper house election in July before any significant bilateral trade deals are inked.