Japan launches defence procurement agency

Tokyo, Oct 1 (IANS) Japan’s defence ministry on Thursday launched a new agency aimed at enhancing efficiency in the development and procurement of defence equipment.

The Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency integrates the branches related to equipment procurement as well as research and development of the defence ministry and those of the ground, maritime, and air Self-Defence Forces (SDF), NHK news agency reported.

The agency also has a new section devoted to export and international joint development of defence equipment.

Defence Minister Gen Nakatani said the ministry is launching the new agency as part of a major reorganization of the ministry to deal with the constantly changing security environment.

Nakatani said the ministry seeks to procure high-quality equipment at lower costs than now, by consolidating relevant sections. He said the agency will also increase its expertise in the joint development of defence equipment with other countries.

The agency will support efforts to transfer Japan’s defence equipment and technology overseas under new arms export guidelines approved by the cabinet in April 2014. The guidelines relaxed the country’s policy on defence exports.

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