The Australian Defence Department announced on Monday that Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II fighter jets and personnel arrived in Australia, marking the first time Japan has deployed these aircraft overseas.
According to a press release, two F-35As and a contingent of 55 personnel from the JASDF are being hosted at RAAF Base Tindal from 26 to 29 August after making the 6,400-kilometre trip to Australia’s top end.
Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs Serizawa Kiyoshi and Ambassador for Japan, His Excellency Suzuki Kazuhiro, visited JASDF personnel at RAAF Base Tindal today as guests of Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Robert Chipman.
The visit by the F-35As follows the entry into force of the Australia–Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement, which facilitates deeper and more sophisticated practical cooperation between the Australian Defence Force and the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
“Australia is honored to be chosen as the destination for Japan’s first international deployment of its F-35As,” said the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Greg Moriarty. “This is a significant milestone in the relationship between our two countries, and is the first activity to be held under the Reciprocal Access Agreement.”
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Rob Chipman AM also added that this visit to Australia will build closer working-level relationships between Japanese and Australian air forces, and enhance mutual ability to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific region.