EU Eyes Asian Partnership: Defense Industry Collaboration with Japan, South Korea

The European Union is looking eastward for partners in the defense sector, according to a report in Nikkei, a Japanese business newspaper. The bloc is reportedly seeking partnerships with Japan and South Korea for joint development of military equipment.

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This would be the EU’s first foray into security and defense collaboration with Asian nations. The report, citing an unnamed senior EU commission official, suggests the EU hopes to reach a ministerial-level agreement with Japan by the end of this year. Such an agreement could pave the way for joint projects between European and Japanese companies, potentially backed by EU funding.

The news comes amidst a backdrop of heightened regional tensions. Japan, despite its pacifist constitution, has been expanding its military in recent years, citing concerns about China and North Korea. Tokyo is already involved in a joint project with Britain and Italy to develop a next-generation fighter jet.

Representatives from Japan’s foreign ministry and the South Korean and EU delegations in Tokyo declined to comment on the report.

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