PUBLISHED: 04:06, Wed, Nov 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 04:06, Wed, Nov 18, 2020
The new warplane is hoped to replace Japan’s fleet of F-2s when they retire from service in 2035. It is hoped a prototype of the new aircraft will be manufactured by 2024.
In May China announced it would be increasing its defence expenditure by another 6.6 percent in 2020.
Last month Beijing said its second aircraft carrier, the 50,000-tonne Shandong, is now combat ready.
Japan is currently undertaking its annual “autumn review” of military expenditure.
As part of this Taro Kono, the Minister of Administrative Reform, said Tokyo would prioritise its “policy of manufacturing next-generation fighters”.
Japan is spening nearly £7.5bn on a new generation of fighter jets (Image: GETTY)
Japan is attempting to modernise its military (Image: GETTY)
Mr Kono added: “We must make a bold and comprehensive assessment of the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defence Forces.”
According to Japanese news website Sankei Shimbun the country currently has 309 fighter jets versus 1,080 for China.
However, Tokyo formats policy in the expectation it will have allies, most importantly the United States, in any confrontation with Beijing.
The cost of the new fighter programme is estimated to be JP¥1 trillion (£7.24billion).
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Japanese troops on a military drill (Image: GETTY)