Misa Matsushima becomes first female fighter pilot as end of defence force ban lets her fulfil childhood Top Gun dream

Misa Matsushima had dreamed of taking to the skies ever since she watched Top Gun as a young girl. On Friday the 26-year-old realised her dream and struck a blow for Japan’s women when she started duty as the country’s first female fighter pilot.

Matsushima, who holds the rank of first lieutenant in the air self-defence force, completed her training this week, just three years after Japan lifted its ban on women becoming fighter pilots.

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