Eight F-22 stealth fighters flew from the United States to the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on Jan. 20 in an apparent show of strength following key developments in East Asia.
The headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan, which is located at the U.S. Air Force base straddling Fussa and other western Tokyo suburbs, said the move was nothing special.
However, a Defense Ministry source said, “As many as eight F-22s arriving is something quite rare.”
The Lockheed Martin combat aircraft is considered the most advanced fighter in operation.
The arrival of the F-22s came after North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6 and Taiwan elected a new president on Jan. 16, who may change the course of Beijing-Taipei relations.
According to U.S. Forces Japan, the F-22s will remain at the base until Jan. 22 as part of a preplanned drill. Several F-16 fighters will also arrive at the air base during the period.