The US has deployed eight F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Japan in the wake of North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and Taiwan’s elections.
Japan’s Fuji Television carried a report suggesting the deployment may be part of efforts to stabilize the region after Taiwan elected a pro-independence president, Tsai Ing-wen, last week and North Korea’s conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
The US deployed the fighters after the nuclear aircraft carrier USS John Stennis departed the western coast last Friday. The US forces in Japan stated that the F-22s from Alaska will remain at the Yakota base until Jan 22 as part of the drill, Asahi Shimbun news daily reported. F-16 fighter jets are also due to arrive at the location.
“Yokota Air Base is receiving a temporary influx of 26 US fighter aircraft, F-22s and F-16s,” Col. Kenneth Hoffman, US Forces Japan spokesman was quoted as saying by Stars and Stripes Thursday.
However Hoffman said that this was a scheduled training deployment to Japan.