Japan, Britain, Italy merge jet fighter projects

Japan, Britain, Italy merge jet fighter projects

TOKYO LONDON : Japan, Britain and Italy are merging their next-generation jet fighter projects in a groundbreaking partnership that includes Europe and Asia, Japan's first major industrial defence collaboration since World War II.

The three countries said in a joint leaders' statement that they were committed to upholding the rules-based, free and open international order, which is more important than ever at a time when these principles are contested and threats and aggression are increasing.

A military build up plan that is expected to double defence spending over the next five years will be announced by Japan this month, which sees as deteriorating regional security.