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Aerospace & Defense Industries

F-35 returns to Japan's skies but safety concerns swirl

Tokyo still shunned from 'partner' country status

 If the F-35A and F-35B blows a tire upon landing, the impact could also take out both hydraulic lines and pose a loss-of-aircraft risk. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO -- Japan resumed training missions of its F-35A stealth fighter jets on Thursday, nearly four months after one of its pilots was killed in a crash involving the U.S.-designed aircraft.

Yet, despite the Defense Ministry's measures to ensure safety, concerns regarding the F-35As remain. On top of the suspected issues regarding the hardware and parts, the contractual restraints that prevent certain countries from making repairs have caused headaches to clients that have adopted the fighter.

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