UK prime minister David Cameron is visiting Japan with executives from six defence contractors, seeking to take advantage of a newly created multimillion-dollar market after the Asian country has relaxed military equipment procurement rules.
The official focus of the trip is a visit at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, where the Japanese car maker will announce a £127m investment in a British plant located in Sunderland, where it creates 225 jobs.
The main topic of the discussion between Cameron and Japan’s PM Yoshihiko Noda, to be held in Tokyo, will however be the defence co-operation between the two countries, according to press reports.
Among the defence contractors who have representatives on the trip are BAE Systems, AgustaWestland, Babcock, MBDA and Rolls Royce.
Cameron is trying to reverse odds after Japan recently chose U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets over the European Typhoon, produced by a consortium which includes BAE Systems.
According to previous reports, it could take about a year until Japan and the UK reach an agreement. The main problem is that Japan, even if it has relaxed rules, still imposes a number of restrictions on military equipment sales.