TOKYO --- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday became the first American president to board a Japanese warship, in a symbolic tour designed to stress the allies' partnership amid increased tensions with North Korea and China.
Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the JS Kaga helicopter carrier, one of the country's biggest vessels, which is to be refurbished into a carrier for F-35B stealth fighter jets Japan is buying from the U.S.
"This purchase will give Japan the largest fleet of F-35s of any of our allies," Trump said in a speech in the hangar of the Kaga, at the Japan Self-Defense Force base in Yokosuka -- south of Tokyo. "And soon this very ship will be upgraded to carry that cutting-edge technology."
The president continued: "With this extraordinary new equipment the Kaga will help our nations defend against a range of conflicts [and] threats in the region and far beyond." (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Nikkei website.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Despite the publicity given to US President Donald Trump’s statements about having sold 105 additional F-35 fighters to Japan, Tokyo in fact decided on the additional purchase back in mid-December, as reported at the time by Japanese media.
The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 18 that “Japan plans to spend around $10 billion to become the largest customer outside the U.S. for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet fighters, as it responds to a rising China and pressure from President Trump to spend more on American military hardware.”)