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International relations

Japan nears deal to develop next-generation fighter with U.K., Italy

Historic collaboration sees Tokyo looking beyond the U.S. for defense needs

A mock-up of the Tempest jet fighter is seen during a visit to BAE Systems by Britain's then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2021.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan has entered the final stages of talks with the U.K. and Italy to jointly develop and build a next-generation fighter jet, marking a turning point as Japan looks beyond the U.S. for defense cooperation.

Tokyo will also consider revising its export rules to allow for defense equipment sales abroad, hoping to reduce development costs for the new plane and boost the domestic defense industry.

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