Japan, U.K., Italy Defense Ministers to Meet in Tokyo

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada

Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy have finalized a plan to hold defense ministerial talks in Tokyo on March 16, according to several Japanese government sources.

The three countries expect to agree on a policy of further expansion of defense cooperation by accelerating talks on a next-generation fighter jet to be jointly developed by the three countries.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace and Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto will attend the meeting.

The three countries agreed in December last year to jointly develop a next-generation fighter jet and plan to deploy it by 2035.

Executives from three companies that are in charge of developing the fighter — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, British aerospace and defense giant BAE Systems and Italian aircraft manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A. — are also scheduled to attend the meeting.