Analysis

Japan’s first fully integrated defence event

14th January 2020
Lanna Cooper

DSEI Japan 2019, held in Makuhari Messe, Tokyo between 18th and 20th November, marked both the first fully-integrated large-scale defence and security exhibition in Japan, and the first DSEI event to be held outside of London. DSEI Japan was launched after the Japanese defence budget was increased to record highs of $46bn as part of the renovation of their military forces. This inaugural exhibition came about following the revision of the Three Principles on Arms Exports in 2014 allowing Japan's defence equipment and technology exports overseas under certain conditions.

The exhibition welcomed a total of 10,216 attendees, more than doubling initial predictions, and about 200 exhibitors from around the world including 16 international pavilions showcasing regional expertise.

Among the visitor base, DSEI Japan attracted VIP national delegations from around the world, and was attended by Japanese Minister of Defence Tarō Kōno. DSEI Japan featured 50 speakers in its conference and seminar programme, including Jerry Martinez (US Air Force Retd.) (Former Commander - US Forces Japan), Richard Court AC (Ambassador to Japan - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Gen Nakatani (Member of the House of Representatives - Former Japanese Minister of Defence).

The organisers Clarion Events and Crisis Intelligence have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors about the debut in this new defence market.

Nick Nishitani, Representative Director, and Ricardo Rodriguez, International Sales Manager of Fischer Connectors, said: “We have made very good contacts and even continued conversations here with customers we met at DSEI in London. This is also a good way to talk with Japanese customers about collaboration… This has had a big impact for us and we have already reserved for DSEI Japan in 2021 - being here is a must.”

A representative from Leonardo said, “Japan is a key market and we wanted the opportunity to be here. It has been successful for a first time show. Day One was busy and the team are happy with the level of visitors and delegations. We’ve just opened a bigger office in Tokyo and are pleased with the quality as we look to expand in the region.”

Hristo Iboouchev, Executive Director of Arsenal, said: “Japan is a new market for us. I believe Japan needed this exhibition and we will come back again because of the potential it has. Many countries in the region look up to Japan so DSEI Japan can become the standard here if more Japanese companies  start to participate.”

Manager International Projects, Special Vehicle Division, Integrated Defense & Space Systems of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said: “There were a range of capabilities that we wanted to exhibit at DSEI Japan. We have seen many delegations from many countries and had good feedback. We hope for even closer collaboration between not just the UK, but US, Europe and ASEAN countries.”

DSEI Japan will return in May 2021.

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