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EXCLUSIVE: Japan, France agree on aircraft parts partnership

  • June 10, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 6:36 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press) — The Japanese and French governments have agreed to strengthen private-sector partnerships for the production of engines, seats and other airplane equipment, informed sources told Jiji Press on Monday.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the French Civil Aviation Authority will conclude a memorandum of cooperation at the annual International Paris Air Show, which will begin on June 17.

The memorandum will promote cooperation on production and technological innovation between French airplane maker Safran Group and Japanese corporations and research institutions.

Safran, strong in airplane equipment such as electronic devices and landing gear, sells engines for small aircraft worldwide through a joint firm with U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co.

The Japanese side, looking to nurture the country’s aircraft industry, will start preparations to produce engine parts and other aircraft equipment for Safran, based on the memorandum.

“Leading domestic small and midsize companies are showing interest,” a source said.

Japan will also seek to jointly develop new engines, electrification technology and artificial intelligence tools for aircraft management with the French side.

Meanwhile, the French government and Safran will speed up efforts to establish a supply chain for Asia including Japan in hopes of tapping the region’s market.

Japanese heavy machinery makers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> and IHI Corp. <7013>, as well as companies from Nagoya and Niigata, both in central Japan, involved in their respective cities’ aircraft industrial development plans, will exhibit at the air show.

The Japanese aircraft industry, also including airframe production, marked sales of nearly 1.8 trillion yen last year, about 10 pct the size of the U.S. industry. The Japanese government hopes to raise the annual sales to 3 trillion yen by 2030.

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