RADWIMPS Band's Yojiro Noda Causes Online Stir with Anti-JSDF Tweet

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Yōjirō Noda, lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist of rock band RADWIMPS, caused a stir online with a tweet criticizing Japan's use of taxpayer money to purchase over one trillion yen worth of Lockheed Martin F-35 aircrafts from the United States.

The tweet, which was posted on Sunday, is translated as follows: "It was decided at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting that Japan would purchase 105 F-35 aircrafts from the U.S., costing over one trillion yen in total. I question the need for a country that has renounced war forever to possess these fighter aircrafts under the name of the Self-Defense Forces. In October, the consumption tax will rise to 10%. There are so many things that I just find hard to swallow."

The Japanese government announced in December last year that it would purchase 105 F-35 aircrafts from the U.S. This statement was reiterated at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting that occurred on May 27. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Donald Trump during his state visit to Japan.

On April 9, an F-35A stealth fighter belonging to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces crashed off the Aomori prefecture. The pilot has not yet been found. The Japanese government has said that the crash would not affect its procurement plans.

The F-35 has a projected cost of more than US$428 billion, making it the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program. The program has had a history of delays and glitches. In 2018, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B crashed, which congressional investigators later found was due to a manufacturing defect in a fuel tube made by a United Technologies subcontractor. Although the fighter aircrafts will be sold to U.S. allies, including the U.K., Italy, Australia and Turkey, Germany's Defense Ministry indicated in February 2019 that it would not be purchasing the F-35.

Noda's tweet on the issue prompted backlash, with many of the top responses arguing that purchasing cutting-edge military weapons is necessary to protect Japan. Several commenters pointed out that the Japanese media was misleading because the purchasing deal had been set in stone months ago, and was intended to make up for Japan's increasingly outdated military technology.

Although Japan has been constitutionally bound against declaring war on other nations since 1947, it maintains military forces in the form of the Self-Defense Forces. The SDF is mainly deployed in non-combatant roles in peacekeeping missions and disaster relief operations. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's data, Japan spent approximately US$46.6 billion on its military in 2018, making it the world's 9th biggest military spender.

The band RADWIMPS performed the music and theme songs for Makoto Shinkai's acclaimed anime film your name. and signed on for his upcoming film Weathering With You. The band's collaboration with your name. brought them to top of the Oricon charts and marked RADWIMPS' first #1 album.

Source: Yoji Noda's Twitter account via Otakomu

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