Japan’s defence industry is trying to sell its transport and maritime patrol aircraft to New Zealand. Japan offers the Kawasaki P-1 and C-2 to Wellington. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Tokyo gave Wellington unclassified data on both aircraft in September last year.
The Japanese government adopted three principles on the transfer of defence equipment and technology in April 2014, greatly relaxing the requirements for arms exports. But it has done little under the new rules. Japan was outbid by France on Australia's new fleet of submarines in April, and lost a bid on anti-submarine patrol aircraft for the U.K. to the U.S. in November 2015.The deal will involve maintenance of the aircraft and New Zealand might get a chance to produce certain components for the planes. If it succeeds Tokyo will sign its first major arms contract. The deal is potentially worth billions of dollars. New Zealand will choose the winning bid as early as this summer out of a pool including American and European proposals. The Japanese government will also negotiate a treaty with New Zealand to allow the transfer of defence equipment and technology, a prerequisite to the potential deal.