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Aerospace & Defense

Japan's defense equipment supply chain is in a predicament

Its reliance on the U.S. and small domestic makers grows precarious

The US-2 saves lives by arriving in remote maritime locations that would take ships or helicopters too long to reach. (Source photo by Reuters) 

TOKYO -- On Sept. 23, a Panama-registered cargo ship had a medical emergency 670 km northeast of Iwo Jima, the Pacific island that gained notoriety for the fierce World War II battle fought there. At the ship's request, Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatched a US-2 amphibian rescue aircraft from Iwakuni base, 1,360 km to the northwest of Iwo Jima on Japan's main Honshu island.

The plane landed on the water near the ship and made a successful rescue.

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