Japan has signaled its intention to be more proactive in its self-defense and is expected to increase its Self-Defense Forces budget tenfold over the next decade. The Japanese government is encouraging its tech companies to partner with the U.S. defense industry to develop new military technologies and overcome various challenges, from cross-cultural differences to understanding international standards.
- Japan’s new proactive stance includes intentions to develop a range of new military technologies such as integrated air and missile defense technologies, hypersonic vehicles, railguns, directed energy weapons to counter drones, and command-and-control technologies for underwater and ground robots.
- While Japan and the U.S. have had a long military alliance, their defense industries have not been as closely aligned. There are various hurdles including differences in business culture and a lack of knowledge about export regulations, but reforms are underway to address these issues.
- One of the main concerns is about the capability of small and medium-sized Japanese companies to build international alliances, due to a lack of experience in international business and issues with certification standards. However, the Japanese government is taking steps to address these issues.
- The Japanese government aims to enhance its defense export policy and is seeking ways to reduce bureaucracy and streamline transactions. The ideal aim is to achieve a U.S.-Australia style relationship that facilitates easy trade without licensing, reducing overhead caused by regulations.
- Cross-cultural challenges exist as U.S. companies often approach international business with the same norms and ideas used domestically. The need for understanding cultural norms is crucial for smooth business operations. Japanese companies also need to grasp the thought processes and norms of their American and European counterparts.