Review of 2023: Defence and Security 

The year saw some significant highlights for the Defence and Security sector in Japan. 

The Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, was in Tokyo in December to mark the official signing of the international Treaty which marks an important agreement in the shared design and delivery of a next generation fighter aircraft by 2035. The landmark Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) is a treaty between the UK, Japan and Italy. It was announced that the headquarters of the programme will be based in Britain led by BAE systems, in close partnership with Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK and MDBA UK. The programme opens a myriad of opportunities for UK companies in the supply chain. 

In May, PM Sunak noted in his speech at a business reception in Tokyo, that Somerset-based helicopter manufacturer Leonardo UK, in partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, has been contracted to provide further world-class naval helicopters and Mid Life Upgrade kits for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, in a deal worth around over £150 million in exports. 

Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in Tokyo & London 

In March we saw the largest trade show for the defence and security sector in North-East Asia. With an increased focus on Japan and the Indo-Pacific region DSEI Japan is a significant showcase for UK companies. In advance of DSEI Japan 2023 we spoke with Gary Waterfall, in his role as Senior Military Advisor to Clarion. The event attracted over 12,000 visitors over the three days, which included the vast display floors and conference sessions. 

Happening every two years, the DSEI trade shows succeed in bringing an international cast of defence and security companies across the whole supply chain. The Defence Secretary and Trade Envoy to Japan were able to visit and talk to British companies demonstrating their cutting-edge capabilities direct to the market. The event offers the chance to engage with international partners, customers and senior military officials in Japan and the region. 

Later in the year DBT Japan accompanied businesses to DSEI London – 2023 marking the biggest event in its 24-year history, including an increase of senior military and government attendees, with over 3250 VIPs and delegations from close to 100 nations.