European aircraft maker Airbus Industrie has officially established its Japanese unit, Airbus Japan K.K., in Tokyo, company officials revealed Monday.

It is aiming to capture half of the nation’s market share in terms of new aircraft orders over the next 20 years, they said.

Patrick Carroll, president of Airbus Japan K.K., said the major directives of the unit include providing direct support for customers, promoting sales of the superjumbo A-380 jetliner and promoting cooperation with partners in the Japanese aviation industry.

“I believe now we can provide quick services for customers and partners in Japan,” he said.

During the same news conference in Tokyo, Noel Forgeard, chief executive officer of Airbus, predicted that Japan will need around 600 new aircraft over the next two decades.

Japan will have the world’s largest demand for airliners of 400 seats or more, he added.

Forgeard also called on Japanese manufacturers of aircraft parts, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., to participate in the production of the planned superjumbo A-380, saying the deadline for talks will be in June.

Airbus’ main competitor, the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, has suspended production of its next-generation superjumbo B-747X to focus on faster airplanes for city-to-city flights.

Asked to comment on the Boeing strategy, Forgeard said that the success of the A-380 Boeing has forced the aviation giant to give up the B-747X.

Airbus has already received more than 60 orders for A-380s, but there have been no orders for the B-747X.

Forgeard also said that Airbus is “very interested” in the planned introduction of air tankers by the Defense Agency, saying it may propose a remodeled version of the A-310.

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