DUBAI — As Saudi Arabia pushes to join the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan’s next-generation fighter jet alliance, Tokyo is reportedly opposed to Riyadh’s bid for technical and geopolitical reasons, even as it tries to improve relations with the Gulf kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s request to be the fourth addition to the trinational Global Combat Air Program (GCAP) was confirmed by senior officials from London, Tokyo and Rome, to The Financial Times (FT) on Friday. Of the three member countries, the British daily added, Japan is the only one to boldly oppose their induction.
GCAP seeks to develop and export highly advanced sixth-generation combat jets by 2035.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have made a formal request during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Jeddah in mid-July.