National

U.S. Defense Department shops around for Japanese commercial technologies

Kyodo

The U.S. Defense Department held a seminar in Tokyo in November for Japanese companies to study whether their technologies could be used to build U.S. military equipment.

It was the Pentagon’s second such a seminar in Japan, Japanese and U.S. officials said Sunday. The first was held in 2014 when the Abe administration adopted new principles and guidelines for arms exports and had the Constitution reinterpreted to legalize the use of collective self-defense.

The session took place in late November at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which arranged it at the request of the Pentagon. It was attended by some 60 Japanese companies, the officials said without disclosing names.

The U.S. government has long been interested in Japanese technology and provides funding to Japanese researchers at universities and other institutions.

At the seminar, U.S. officials explained the procedures involved in outsourcing military technologies and discussed their priority areas, including energy conservation and materials science.

The following month, Pentagon officials held individual meetings with 18 companies.

Pentagon official Lt. Col. Sean Bradley, who attended the seminar, said the the purpose of the gathering was to “find, assess and field world-class technologies that enhance the capabilities of the U.S. military.”

“We have found that including foreign technologies into our systems, where appropriate, increases interoperability between the military forces of our allies and partners as we share common equipment and standards available in today’s global market place,” he said.

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