The inaugural Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Japan Show was held at the Makuhari Messe exhibition centre in Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo, between November 18 and 20, with around 200 Japanese and foreign companies represented in the halls.
Although official attendance figures were not available, organisers reported around 5,000 people had registered to attend the event, which was opened on the first day by Masanori Nishi, former Administrative Vice-Minister for Defence.
Although perhaps a modest event when compared with large international defence shows such as the parent DSEI in London, or our own Land Forces and Pacific, DSEI Japan 2019 was nevertheless an important beginning for a local defence industry that is slowly warming to the idea of co-operation with international companies.
Indeed, the words ‘collaboration’, ‘co-operation’ and the phrase ‘joint venture’ were a constant thread running through the three-day event. Japan has traditionally been a difficult market for western manufacturers to penetrate, due to a desire to locally design and manufacture equipment for the Japan Self Defence Force, however the situation is changing, if slowly.
Japanese companies are increasingly looking to the export market and in turn, this is leading to more engagement with their international counterparts. One example of an opportunity for international suppliers is the Japan Ground Self Defence Force’s competition to acquire an 8x8 wheeled armoured combat vehicle, which has some similarities to Australia’s Land 400 program, albeit for a troop-carrying vehicle without a turret.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) unveiled its proposal at DSEI Japan, based on the company’s Type 16 Mobile Combat Vehicle (an example of which was also on display at the show) but, importantly, Patria (AMV) and GDLS (LAV 6.0) have also been invited to submit vehicles for testing.
Australian companies attending the event included EOS Space Systems, who were talking with Japanese authorities about their Space Situational Awareness (SSA) capabilities; and the Aerospace, Maritime, Defence and Security Foundation, who were promoting the Land Forces 2020 show to be held in Brisbane in September next year.
A detailed report from DSEI Japan 2019 will appear in the December/January issue of ADM.