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Japan enacts new defence industry law

Japan's new defence industry law aims to strengthen the capability of local firms to design, develop, and produce military equipment such as this Type 16 Mobile Combat Vehicle (displayed at the DSEI Japan 2023 exhibition in Chiba) built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Japanese legislation to strengthen the country's defence industrial base has come into force, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo has confirmed to Janes.

The MoD said the new law – provisions of which allow the state to take control of ailing defence firms – is part of Japan's wider efforts to respond to growing regional security threats.

The law, titled the Defense Production Infrastructure Reinforcement Act, came into effect on 1 October and was proposed in June in line with defence policies introduced by the government at the end of 2022. The law replaces the Strategy on Defense Production and Technological Bases, which was introduced in 2014.

A spokesperson from the MoD told Janes, “In order for business operators to stably manufacture and repair defence equipment, we believe that it is important to appropriately implement the law.”

The spokesperson added, “To this end, it is necessary to secure the necessary budget for the enforcement of the law and to support the defence industry. We are working to disseminate information about the content [of the law] by holding information sessions and other activities.”

According to the legislation, its provisions are intended to strengthen “the foundation for the development and production of defence equipment”.

These provisions cover areas including state ownership of defence firms, bolstering Japan's second- and third-tier supply networks, improving manufacturing efficiencies, supporting defence exports, and enhancing cyber security in the defence industry.

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