The Asia Offices Of Defense Corporations Are Moving To Japan. Reasons Why

Defence companies are shifting their Asia offices to Japan.

In New Delhi, Major arms corporations are moving their operations from Singapore and other parts of Asia to Japan as a result of the government of Japan’s aggressive demand for increased defence spending.

According to Nikkei Asia, businesses like British aerospace and arms manufacturer BAE Systems plan to relocate their supervisory roles for their Asian operations from Malaysia to Japan, while American aviation giant Lockheed Martin has already moved all of its Asian operations from Singapore to Japan.

Japan’s efforts to strengthen its defense sector in light of the rising tensions in East Asia are one factor contributing to this trend. It views China’s growing assertiveness, North Korea’s unpredictable military operations, and Russia’s aggression, as evidenced by the invasion of Ukraine, as the three key regional challenges that pose significant security concerns.

The National Security Strategy (NSS), the National Defense Strategy, and the Defense Buildup Program were three policy documents that the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida approved in late 2022. They called for a significant expansion of Japan’s military capabilities and a significant increase in military spending over a five-year period.

The 6.8 trillion yen ($52 billion) 2023 budget for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) was made public by the Japanese government in December 2022.

According to Statista, indigenous corporations like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) produce the majority of the SDFA’s military hardware. The remaining technology and apparatus are acquired from the US through Foreign Military Sales, a practice that Japan is currently attempting to buck.

The changes to Japan’s defense policies have benefited businesses, which are now relocating their activities.

Japan has grown to be a significant market for Lockheed Martin. To protect the nation from North Korean missile strikes, the Japanese government chose Lockheed Martin radars in 2018 as part of a $1.2 billion deal to develop two ground-based Aegis ballistic missile defense systems.

Additionally, it has been claimed that Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected Lockheed Martin to assist MHI, the prime contractor, in the development of the F-X next-generation fighter aircraft for the SDF.

These businesses were managed by Lockheed Martin’s Singapore branch, but it will now oversee its South Korean, Taiwanese, and other markets from Japan.

In order to design, develop, and construct a next-generation fighter aircraft, the governments of the UK, Japan, and Italy announced in December 2022 that they would collaborate on a new Global Combat Air Program (GCAP).

This collaborative endeavor involves the UK’s BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, and Ministry of Defence, as well as the IHI Corporation, Mitsubishi Electrics, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, as well as Avio Aero, Elettronica, and Leonardo of Italy.

Nikkei Asia noted in its article that “BAE will increase the number of employees at the Japanese subsidiary to strengthen its business foundation after transferring its supervisory functions for the Asian market.”

According to media sources, the Japanese government had earlier in June stated that it planned to combine domestically produced defense equipment requirements with those of the US and Europe in order to reduce maintenance costs and improve economic prospects for Japanese military firms.

The French company Thales plans to increase employment in Japan. Thales collaborates with Mitsubishi to design and manufacture products like mine detectors.

If both the export and import of defense equipment are boosted, it will be advantageous for both the companies and Japan since businesses involved in the research and production of military goods will have more opportunities for growth.

(Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri is the editor.)

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