Japan and France agree the joint development of military equipment and defence cooperation 2907143
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Defence & Security News - Japan / France
|Tuesday, July 29, 2014 02:10 PM|
|Japan and France agree the joint development of military equipment and defence cooperation.|
Japan and France today agreed to enhance defence cooperation, including the joint development of military equipment, Japanese officials said. Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian signed a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo despite Japanese concerns about a planned sale of French warships to Russia. (Source the Malay Mail)
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (right), accompanied by his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera (left), reviews honour guards at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo, July 29, 2014.
The agreement comes shortly after Japan’s government — led by conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — expanded the scope of the country’s forces, allowing it the right to go into battle in defence of its allies.
It also follows a commitment made by Abe and French President Francois Hollande in Paris last May to start talks on a deal to jointly develop defence equipment.
“By signing the memorandum, we agreed to further advance our defence cooperation,” Onodera said.
He added that during the talks, Le Drian proposed the two countries conclude a “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)”, a bilateral pact Japan has already signed with main ally the United States and Australia.
France appeared interested in developing defence equipment based on robot technology as well as unmanned systems such as underwater vehicles, Onodera said.
Onodera said he had asked Le Drian to stop France’s planned sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because of fears they are to be deployed in Ukraine and the Far East.
But Le Drian, according to Onodera, said payment for the Mistral-class carriers, which are capable of launching helicopter, tank and missile attacks, had already been made.
Japan’s agreement with France is the second with another country this month after it decided to conduct joint research on air-to-air missiles with Britain.
In April, Japan eased its rules on arms exports to boost defence development with other nations.