Tokyo ponders exhibition of GSDF military gear at Paris arms show

Kyodo

Tokyo is considering whether or not to allow domestic defense-related companies to participate in an international exhibition of defense and security equipment in Paris in June, a government source said Sunday.

It would be the first full-fledged participation by Japanese companies in the trade show, which has been held in the French capital every two years since 1992. The move follow on the heels of Tokyo’s easing of its decades-old all-out ban on arms exports last month.

Around 10 companies are expected to display equipment used by the Ground Self-Defense Force — including vehicles to build bridges over rivers and mine detectors — at the Eurosatory exhibition from June 16 to 20 in an attempt to promote military equipment used to counter terrorism and respond to disasters, the source said.

Other major equipment slated for display at the exhibition includes searchlights for marine use and chemical protection suits, the source said, adding that exhibits of surface-to-air missiles are also planned.

Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Ryota Takeda is to visit France at the time of the show to participate in talks with French officials related to the joint development of defense equipment, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande agreed earlier this month to begin negotiations on such a deal.