Japan, Britain to Review Joint Armament Development

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

Media sources are reporting that Japan and Britain may soon begin negotiations to create a joint project for the development of weapons to reinforce each nation’s domestic weapon’s industries. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan is anxious to form lucrative partnerships with foreign nations to offset the decline in Japan’s domestic defense manufacturing sector.

International defense firms have placed increasing pressure on Japanese manufacturers, hogtied by Japan’s decades-old ban on arm’s exports, as they have raced far ahead of Japan’s capability to remain competitive in a market dominated by multinational firms.

Now that Japan has decided to rescind portions of its ban on arm’s exports, the way ahead is open for a resurrection of Japan’s ailing arms industry. Prime Minister Noda is hopeful that removing the export ban will help to ease Japan’s burgeoning spending on defense, spending that has contributed to increasing Japan’s huge national debt.

By lifting portions of the arm’s export ban, Japan hopes to establish partnerships with the United States and European nations leading to the development and production of military goods that may be exported to customers engaged in UN peacekeeping operations and similar activities. Such partnerships are expected to boost Japan’s economic posture.

Prime Minister Noda is scheduled to meet with Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, in April to discuss partnership proposals already presented by the British. Britain previously proposed the two nations collaborate in the development of an autoloading mechanism for 155-milimeter howitzers and three other defense systems.

The strength of multinational arm’s producers has placed Japanese firms in a decidedly weak position, a trend the Japanese fervently hope they can reverse through an aggressive plan of partnership building.