Japan Aims to Mass-Produce Passenger Planes by 2035; Industry Seen as Important for Security, Defense

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.’s Mitsubishi SpaceJet

The government will promote cooperation between the public and private sectors to establish an aircraft manufacturing business with the aim of mass-producing domestically developed aircraft by 2035 and developing next-generation aircraft using decarbonization technology, according to a new aircraft industry strategy being prepared by the government.

The government will provide support for the development of production infrastructure and other measures to strengthen national security and expand the domestic aircraft industry.

An expert panel of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, which is studying a new aircraft industry strategy, will soon compile a final draft. It will be the first revision of the strategy since 2014.

The new strategy is expected to note the factors behind Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.’s withdrawal from development of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet (MSJ), a passenger jet that was to have been produced in Japan. It is also expected to state that “experience and human resources have been accumulated through [the MSJ development effort], and the foundation of an aircraft business [in Japan] is about to be ready.”

The new strategy is also expected to set a target of mass-production of single-aisle aircraft, which are in great demand worldwide, as well as the development of next-generation aircraft.

In addition to the development of infrastructure such as maintenance facilities and the digitization of manufacturing, the new strategy is also expected to stipulate the need to formulate safety and other standards in cooperation with international standardization organizations.

The government intends to provide support to implement the new strategy as the aircraft industry is becoming increasingly important from the viewpoint of economic security and defense.