Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy are aiming to set up a control tower for the joint development of a next-generation fighter jet in fiscal 2024, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara has said, following talks with his counterparts from the two partner countries.

Kihara, speaking to reporters late Monday, said the video conference with British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto was “a very useful first step in fostering a relationship of trust” as the fighter jet project moves forward.

The control tower, which is expected to be made up of officials from all three countries and set up in Britain, will oversee the countries’ requirements for the joint development of the fighter by 2035 and place orders with companies participating in the program.