- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TOKYO (AP) - As Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe oversees an increase to the country’s military capability, he has also eased a decades-old ban on military exports, enabling defense contractors to expand their markets beyond Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. Here are some export or technology transfer deals Japan is pursuing:

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AMPHIBIOUS AIRCRAFT: India is considering buying ShinMaywa Industries’ US-2 amphibious aircraft. If the deal goes through it would be the first fully assembled military export from Japan in decades. Indonesia has also showed interest in the search-and-rescue aircraft, which costs about 12 billion yen ($100 million), can land and take off from rough seas with waves as high as 3 meters (almost 10 feet). Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces has seven US-2s.

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SUBMARINE TECHNOLOGY: Australia has invited Japan to participate in developing a next generation submarine using its 2,950-ton Soryu-class diesel-electric propulsion system. Japan has 6 of the advanced non-nuclear submarines, equipped with an air-independent propulsion technology acquired from Sweden, and armed with torpedoes and Harpoon missiles. Germany and France are also vying for the 50 billion Australian dollar ($40 billion) project to replace Australia’s Collins-class submarines in 2025-2030.

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MISSILE COMPONENTS: At Washington’s request, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. was authorized in 2014 to export seeker gyros, which it makes for the Patriot Defense Capability-2 surface-to-air missile defense system, to U.S. defense contractor Raytheon. Raytheon stopped making the gyro, a sensor used to identify, track and chase targets, opting to license manufacturing to Mitsubishi in an arrangement that could become a model for cooperation.

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SEEKER TECHNOLOGY: Japan last year approved joint research with Britain on Japanese seeker technology in a European project developing Meteor missiles. Japanese defense officials say they hope to develop technology that can be used in F-35 stealth fighter jets that Japan plans to buy for its Air Self-Defense Forces.

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