2015-05-02 Earlier this year, Japan and the UK as well as Australia and Japan expanded their discussions on defense industrial cooperation.
In an agreement in March, the Japanese did this with France.
According to a Reuters story published on March 13, 2015:
Japan and France signed a deal on military equipment and technology transfers on Friday, in a move to drive cooperation and joint development of defense gear, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strengthens security ties with major powers.
Japan, at odds with China on territorial and other issues, has reached similar deals with Britain and Australia over the past two years, while ending a ban on its military fighting abroad and easing restrictions on weapons exports.
The agreement encourages bilateral defense cooperation by ensuring that transferred technology and equipment will not be provided to a third country without the consent of the country of origin…..
Potential items of cooperation include unmanned gear for mine removal, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
“Both France and Japan have high-tech companies in this field. If we work together, we can find a win-win solution,” he said.
Japan and France also agreed to work toward concluding an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA), which provides a framework for logistic cooperation between armed forces. Japan already has ACSAs with the United States and Australia.
And more recently, on his visit to the United States, the US and Japanese governments modified their defense agreement as well.
According to a Reuters story published on April 27, 2015:
The guidelines allow for global cooperation militarily, ranging from defense against ballistic missiles, cyber and space attacks as well as maritime security. They follow a cabinet resolution last year reinterpreting Japan’s post-World War Two pacifist constitution.
The resolution allows the exercise of the right to “collective self-defense.” This means, for example, that Japan could shoot down missiles heading toward the United States and come to the aid of third countries under attack….
The guidelines eliminate geographic restrictions that had largely limited joint work to the defense of Japan and the surrounding area, a senior U.S. official said.
“We will be able to do globally what we’ve been able to do in the defense of Japan and regionally,” the official said.
The changes allow greater coordination and information sharing and allow increased cooperation in cybersecurity and defense of assets in space…..
The constitutional reinterpretation still needs to be enabled by legislation later this year, but will also allow Japan to take action such as mine-sweeping during hostilities in the Hormuz Strait and provide logistical support for U.S. forces beyond Japan’s immediate neighborhood without a specific law for each operation, Japanese lawmakers and government sources say.
The new guidelines as adopted can be downloaded here:
US Japanese Defense Guidelines