Advertisement

U.S. deploys F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to base in Japan

The deployment comes after the nuclear aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis departed the western coast of the United States last Friday.

By Elizabeth Shim
1/2
U.S. deploys F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to base in Japan
A United States Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich/UPI

TOKYO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force flew eight F-22 stealth fighters to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on Wednesday, but U.S. officials said the move was a scheduled deployment.

The arrival of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, one of the most advanced fighter jets in operation, comes in the wake of North Korea's fourth nuclear test and Taiwan's elections, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Advertisement

The deployment comes after the nuclear aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis departed the western coast of the United States last Friday. The vessel can sail anywhere from Japan to the southern Pacific and could dock in Yokosuka, Japan, to join the USS Ronald Reagan, another Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier.

U.S. Forces Japan stated the F-22s, originating from Alaska, are to remain at the base until Jan. 22, as part of a scheduled drill. F-16 fighter jets are also due to arrive at the location.

RELATED Top Japanese official in charge of TPP accused of graft

Stars and Stripes reported the F-16s are from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

"This movement of aircraft is part of a previously scheduled training deployment to Japan that will enhance our ability to fulfill our treaty obligations to defend Japan and promote stability throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Col. Kenneth Hoffman, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Japan.

Advertisement

While U.S. officials say the deployment is nothing special, Japanese television network Fuji reported the deployment was part of efforts to stabilize the region. Taiwan's election of the opposition party candidate Tsai Ing-wen could put China on guard, according to Japan press.

RELATED Seoul plans response to 1 million North Korea propaganda leaflets

China does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state.

RELATED Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen wants to recover rival Kuomintang assets, report says

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement