Over 60 postwar years, the world has become accustomed to seeing Japan weasel around in its dealings with great powers, especially China. No more. In the latest case of Tokyo calling a spade a spade, Foreign Minister Taro Aso told a press conference that China is becoming a menace. China, he said, is “a neighbor equipped with nuclear bombs and has expanded its military outlays for 12 years in a row. It is beginning to be a considerable threat.” These kinds of remarks infuriate the comrades of the Middle Kingdom, who also don’t like Japan’s move to re-write its “no-war” constitution.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.