Starting in 1973 the Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 F-4EJ Phantoms that were based on the USAF F-4E. 138 of these aircraft were manufactured under license by Mitsubishi who produced the last F-4 Phantom II. Several changes were made to the F-4E to make it an F-4EJ. Basically it had any offensive weapons removed but eventually these restrictions were lifted and the aircraft were updated with missiles and the latest electronic equipment.
The first F-4 arrived at Hyakuri AB assigned to the 301st Hikotai “Samurai” in 1972. The 301st Hikotai is the last JASDF F-4EJ squadron and in 2020 to celebrate the F-4 retirement, two F-4EJs were given special paint schemes. F-4EJ 315 37-8315 wore the words “Go for it!! 301 Sq.”, while 07-8436 wore blue, cyan, white and black bands on top as well as “Phantom Forever” on the fuselage. “Thank You Phantom II” and “1971-2020” were displayed on the upper wings. Both aircraft wore the 301st Frog emblem on the tail.