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International relations

Japan shuns U.S. to sign next-gen fighter plan with U.K., Italy

Nations launch Global Combat Air Program with eye on future exports

An artist's impression of the Tempest next-generation fighter.    © U.K. Government

TOKYO -- Japan, the U.K. and Italy have agreed to jointly develop next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035, the three countries announced on Friday, a collaborative effort that reflects the need to respond together to growing geopolitical threats from the likes of China and Russia.

The three nations will bring together their technologies to develop a common airframe and coproduce it. Tokyo is in the process of relaxing rules for arms exports and hopes to eventually tap the connections that the U.K. and Italy have to sell the aircraft to other countries.

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