Japan and UK in defense talks

Featured Various Asia News - June 1st, 2012
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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his British counterpart David Cameron have agreed on plans for defense collaborations on development and production of defense equipment as well as future military programs between the two countries.

Defense talks between the “ideal partners” will be “soft”, says former defense attaché Simon Chelton in an interview, as projects would constitute less offensive equipment, such as helicopter and jet parts, suits and gloves against nuclear, chemical and biological attacks and counter cyber-attack systems.

Experts say both countries are open to the possibility that the “small-scale confidence-building” could lead to broader defense programs in the future. Britain reiterated the importance of collaboration with other countries on its defense projects, especially in a time when technological advances are driving up costs. Japan, constrained by a slowing domestic defense industry, would likely seek collaboration projects, says Christopher Hughes, a defense expert at Warwick University.

However, Hughes believed there would still be impediments in the collaboration between the two because of Britain’s tight finances and what Chelton points out as Japan’s tendency to design equipment independently from NATO standards.