TOKYO --- Japan has decided to buy up to nine additional U.S.-made early warning aircraft, which are used to detect approaching foreign planes, sources have revealed.
The new E-2D aircraft, built by U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman, will cost the Japanese government 350 billion yen ($3.12 billion).
U.S. President Donald Trump, determined to reduce his country's trade deficit with Japan, has been pushing Tokyo to purchase more American defense equipment. He has repeatedly urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pursue such deals.
Japan, for its part, aims to deflect Trump's criticism while stepping up monitoring around the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa.
The latest plan comes on top of Japan's earlier decision in 2014 to buy four E-2Ds. The Ministry of Defense has been looking to upgrade its aging fleet of E-2C warning aircraft. (end of excerpt)
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