A major defense equipment exhibition opened Monday with some 50 Japanese and 100 foreign arms manufacturers taking part.

Backed by the Japanese and British governments, the Defense and Security Equipment International, or DSEI, is intended to boost Japanese makers' international competitiveness in defense and increase business opportunities for foreign companies in Asia.

It is the first time the DSEI, one of the world's biggest defense equipment fairs, has been held outside Britain.

Japan's Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency is displaying the Ground Self-Defense Force Type 10 tank, as well as other equipment, at the trade show, which runs through Wednesday at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture.

Participating companies are displaying models of missiles and fighter jets, as well as precision instruments for drones, at their booths, with business people and military personnel in attendance.

"It is important for companies from home and abroad to get together and create an opportunity for new business deals," Masanori Nishi, a former vice defense minister who is chairman of DSEI Japan, said during an opening ceremony.

Britain's Department for International Trade is running a booth at the Tokyo fair to expand London's arms export.

The trade show brings together major Japanese defense contractors such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., as well as foreign players such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and BAE Systems PLC.

Arms makers from Israel, India and Canada are also participating.

The DSEI, which is held every two years in Britain, exhibits defense equipment for land, sea and air forces, as well as for countering terrorism and cyberattacks and almost everything that relates to security.