Czech Republic will persuade Japan to buy some of its weapons, since it has hiked its defense budget by 2%.
On January 25, the First Deputy Minister of Defence František Šulc discussed the opportunities for cooperation with his Japanese counterpart Toshiro Ino. “For the Czech Republic and the domestic defence industry, cooperation with Japan bears a huge potential – Tokyo intends to spend 2% of GDP on defence until 2027, pushing Japan to the third place in defence spending behind the U.S. and China,” Czech defence ministry said in an official release.
“The Czech defence industry can offer a wide range of cutting edge technologies to Japan. A great potential lies in the field of artificial intelligence, laser technologies, digitalisation, robotics, cyber and space technologies or biotechnologies,” First Deputy Minister Šulc underscored.
Both countries also share their perspective on the current security issues.
“We concurred that in the matter of security risks we share the same perspective on threats we will face in the years ahead. The security of Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions is more interconnected than we think. Reinforcing cooperation with democratic partners such as Japan is crucial for the global security,” stated First Deputy Minister of Defence František Šulc.
Japanese Self-Defence Forces comprise up to 250,000 service members and rank among leading militaries in the region. Tokyo plans to expand their missile forces, strengthen unmanned aerial capabilities and substantially increase their defence expenditure. They plan to invest $51.4 billion into defence this year, which represents 1.2% GDP. Until 2027, Japan intends to reach 2% of GDP which would represent $103 billion.
Mutual trade could be significantly facilitated by agencies both countries established for this purpose: Czech AMOS (Intergovernmental Defense Cooperation Agency) and Japanese ATLA (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency).
First Deputy Minister Šulc simultaneously confirmed that Czech businesses have an “essential interest” to cooperate with Japan. “We are open to an intensive cooperation involving both our defence industry agencies especially in terms of reaching out to Armed Forces, since Czech firms are already well established in the commercial market,” František Šulc emphasised.
The President of the Czech Defence and Security Industry Association welcomes the initiative: “The Czech company AURA delivered a military logistics management system to the Japanese Ministry of Defence in past years. I am convinced that thanks to the quality of their products, other Czech producers will soon follow suit,” commented Jiří Hynek.