Last week, Lockheed Martin proposed building a hybrid F-22 Raptor/F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for Japan. The jet, possibly to be known as F-3, would be the most advanced jet fighter in the world. Why Japan wants the best fighter it can possibly afford, and why such a high-tech nation was forced to go to an American company, is a story that traces back to World War II.
At the end of the Second World War, Japan lay in ruins. Blasted by bombing raids and even two nuclear weapons, the country’s largest cities were utterly destroyed, and Japan faced decades of rebuilding. The larger issues aside, Japan had failed to maintain air superiority, allowing American B-29 bombers to ravage the country at will.