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Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems of Israel and Mitsubishi Electric, Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan are the companies included in the joint research on unmanned surveillance airplanes by the two nations.
The preparations for the joint research are in the final phase and the two governments have already sounded out the defense industry of the two counties about the feasibility of participating in the project, Japanese government sources and bilateral diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by Japan Times.
According to Defense World, such an arrangement has become possible under Japan’s eased arms export principles in 2014 updates. Japan’s previous principles banned the country from exporting arms to a state that may potentially become a conflict country. With its Palestinian issue, Israel fell under this category.
Japan’s National Security Council would decide on whether to give the green light to the joint study by the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency of the Defense Ministry and the SIBAT defense cooperation department of Israel’s Defense Ministry, but is likely to endorse the plan because the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been reinforcing relations with Israel.
The Japanese acquisition agency hopes to also conduct joint study on unmanned attack planes and unmanned fighters with Israel, according to the sources.
The source said concerns exist about the project prompting protest from Arab countries as Israel is known to have the world’s top-level technology for unmanned spy planes and the aircrafts are used in attacks on the Gaza area of the Palestinian autonomous region and on Lebanon.
The envisioned joint study is aimed at incorporating Japanese sensor technology in Israel’s reconnaissance plane technologies, according to sources.