Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 ...
As we have reported on www.sky-lens.com/articles-news.php?recordID=232 , a Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Boeing KC-767 J is tasked to land on RAF Fairford airfield next Thursday June 5th. It will take part to the Royal International Air tattoo 2012, and as proven by many air forces now joining the european airscene - such as the Korean ROKAF also coming to Waddington and RIAT - this event reflects a new world order. Following visits to Japan by the RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff to agree on a bilateral defense cooperation, it was decided by the Japanese Chief of Staff that he would send a tanker to UK.
Several representatives from the European airscene have reacted to the KC-767 J particpation. European Airshow Council Chairman Gilbert Buekenberghs said: " Whilst other nations will also be sending aircraft to European air shows for the first time this summer, most notably South Korea and Colombia, it is the backdrop against which Japan is proposing to participate that makes their visit to the Air Tattoo so significant. Whilst other far flung nations may choose not to attend for reasons of distance or cost, Japan's absence over the years has been self imposed, a restriction borne out of the Second World War. That they now feel the time is right to participate more fully on the international stage is to be applauded - and certainly one welcomed by the European airshow community."
Aviation author Lindsay Peacock said: "Since the end of World War Two, the Japanese have adhered to a pacifist clause in its constitution that prohibits it from settling international disputes with the use of military force. However, in recent times, the once strict interpretation of this clause has been relaxed somewhat, resulting in participation in training exercises such as Red Flag Alaska as well as involvement in humanitarian efforts. In addition, Japan is now beginning to play an increasing role in global security. Sending its first ever military aircraft – a Boeing KC-767J – to an airshow in Europe is an indication of Japan's growing confidence."