TOKYO - The Japanese air force is seeking to add a stealth fighter to its arsenal and has asked its government to garner the technology from the United States.
Japanese air force officials asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to convince U.S. President George W. Bush to part with the advanced technology of the F-22 Raptor stealth jet, the Financial Times said Monday. Abe is to visit the United States this week.
The political move, that was reportedly prompted by Japan's search for a more efficient air force fleet, will prove difficult as the United States' Obey amendment forbids sales of the fifth-generation fighter to foreign sources.
"Abe would be asking for the administration to work with committees on the Hill to change the Obey amendment and allow exports for national security reasons," former White House official Michael Green said.
Yet the newspaper reported that some Washington officials said that the amendment could be altered as part of an attempt to support Japan in its quest to protect its airspace from China.
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