Japan and Airbus welcome new agreement on industrial partnerships

Airbus welcomes new agreement on industrial partnerships with Japan. The agreement, signed on Wednesday, seeks cutting-edge Japanese aerospace technologies for future aircraft.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan together with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy of the French Republic signed a memorandum of cooperation in Tokyo on Mar. 1.

The agreement, signed by Toshihide Kasutani, director-general, Manufacturing Industries Bureau of METI, and Thierry Dana, French ambassador to Japan, aim to strengthen the cooperation between Airbus and the Japanese industry.

The agreement came after Airbus asked for deeper cooperation with Japanese companies in November. An Airbus-Japanese Ad Hoc Civil Aeronautical Industry Working Group will be established as part of the plan to build up cooperation between Japan and France. The Ad Hoc committee will meet on a regular basis to discuss technology fields such as material, aircraft system and equipment, or manufacturing technologies for the development of future Airbus aircraft.

"We are very pleased that Japan and France are together providing support for enhancing our partnerships between Japan and Europe," said Stéphane Ginoux, president of Airbus Japan, in a press release statement.

Ginoux sees Japan as a key country when it comes to future aircraft technologies, R&T and digital innovation. Schweitzer, the French foreign ministry's special representative for the partnership, also hopes the Airbus agreement will bring mutual benefits to companies in Japan and France.

Aside from Japanese jet engines and key aircraft components, Airbus is also interested in wireless communication technology and automated assembly robots according to the ministry officials. Further, the commercial aircraft market is expected to grow at an annual pace of 5 percent on strong demand in emerging economies. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will provide an opportunity to bring Japanese companies and Airbus together during fiscal 2017, which starts in April.

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