The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo has rejected media reports claiming that it is considering arming the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF) burgeoning fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft with air-to-surface missiles (ASMs).
The Tokyo-based Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on 27 June that the air-launched Joint Strike Missile (JSM) being developed by Norwegian company Kongsberg "is a promising candidate" for the Japanese F-35As.
Responding to a question on the matter, Japanese defence minister Tomomi Inada said during a press conference on the same day, "Although the media report mentioned a study on the possibility of equipping the F-35 with an air-to-surface missile, we are not conducting such a study.
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