Japan, Britain, Italy defense ministers to meet in Tokyo this week

Typhoon fighter jets are pictured at Royal Air Force base RAF Coningsby, near Lincoln, eastern England, on Dec 9, 2022, during a visit by Britain's prime minister. (PHOTO / AFP)

TOKYO – Britain and Italy's defense chiefs will visit Japan this week to hold meetings with their local counterpart, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, Japan said on Tuesday.

The three nations announced in December the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) venture to develop by 2035 a next-generation jet which would combine the British-led Tempest project with Japan's F-X program.

Hamada will host a trilateral meeting with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto on Thursday, Japan's defense ministry said. He will also hold bilateral meetings with them.

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The three nations will discuss the jet fighter project, which marks Japan's first major industrial defense collaboration beyond the United States since World War Two.

The trilateral partnership came together last year as France, Germany and Spain moved forward with a rival plan to build a warplane in a broad European bid to strengthen security.