European countries and Japan both possess advanced defence technologies and they can bring to bear a range of civilian or dual-use technologies for defence procurement and defence research. At the same time, both players recognise that it is increasingly difficult for individual countries to manage defence equipment projects without cooperation. Therefore, it is clear that both Japan and Europe have a vested interest in cooperating with each other on capabilities and industrial defence issues.
Within this context, there is scope to assess the current level of cooperation between Europe and Japan on defence capability development and equipment procurement. In the particular context of the EU-Japanese economic (EPA) and strategic (SPA) partnerships , this paper asks what the current scope is for closer cooperation between the two partners and whether there are any avenues that could be explored to improve cooperation. It first looks at the strategic rationale for closer European-Japanese cooperation on defence capabilities, and later analyses the hurdles to improving and promoting a higher level of cooperation between Tokyo and Brussels.
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