Industrial collaboration

No progress
The EBC notices that the increase in the Japanese defense budget during the last few years is mostly benefiting the US industry, which absorbs almost all the increase. At the same time, only a few Japanese companies are trying to be active on the global market. To make matters worse, strict export control, especially in terms of third country transfer, is discouraging companies and leading to missed out collaboration opportunity with European companies.


  • In order to foster cooperation between Japanese and European industries in the defense domain, especially with the view of addressing third country markets, the Government of Japan should present a more precise framework in terms of practical expectation (main technologies, operating field, priorities) and actively motivate Japanese companies to enter into a cooperative mode with their European counterparts.
  • The EBC recommends a closer dialog between the European Defense Agency (EDA) and its counterparts in Japan, ATLA (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency) and METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), to promote industrial partnerships between Japanese and European companies. More specifically, Japanese officials could also explore and promote in a beneficial way, joining as a third party, the new defense initiatives implemented by the European Union to foster industrial cooperation between member states in specific areas of mutual interest.
  • The Government of Japan should also clarify its political policies regarding transfer to third-party countries and should either operate the three principles of defence equipment transfer in a more flexible way or revise them, to avoid their becoming an obstacle to cooperation between Japanese and European industries.