Japan's Defense Ministry has decided to submit an estimate of its budget request for the next fiscal year to cover the development of new stealth fighter jets without providing a specific amount.
The Defense Ministry says it will draw up a detailed budget for the fiscal year that starts in April 2020 for the development of jets to succeed the Air Self-Defense Force's current fleet of 91 F-2 aircraft.
The F-2s, which it began deploying in 2000, will be decommissioned starting in the 2030s.
The government said in its latest midterm five-year defense program that it plans to begin the Japan-led development of new stealth aircraft at an early date, with a view to possible international collaboration.
The Defense Ministry is considering joint development with the United States and Britain, but has yet to come up with a plan that details the role of Japan's defense industry.
The Ministry says, therefore, that it will ask for outlays in its budget request related to parts, such as the fuselage, that Japan will develop on its own.