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Japan Is Hosting An Honest To Goodness Arms Show Next Year

November 27, 2018

The world’s most prestigious military-security exhibition has branched out to East Asia. Next year, the first installment of DSEI Japan will be held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture from November 18 until 20. If the name of the event sounds familiar that’s because it’s a spinoff from the same organizers (Clarion Events) behind DSEI in London, which is arguably the largest arms show in Western Europe.

DSEI Japan gathers well-known military-industrial enterprises looking for opportunities in a highly developed market. Although in recent years smaller events have been organized to promote dual use equipment, DSEI’s Asian debut is a sure sign the region’s second biggest economy is getting serious about its security commitments.

Anyone surprised about the suddenness of DSEI Japan shouldn’t fret. The truth is the show has been in the works for the better part of a year now. Clarion Events informed their entire emailing list, as well as relevant trade media, of DSEI Japan’s impending arrival in April. The extension of the DSEI brand, rather than a distinct event exclusive to Japan, was a collaboration between Clarion’s management and Crisis Intelligence. The latter are a low-key conduit for Tokyo’s defense ministry tasked with showing up at high profile arms shows around the world, the type that isn’t held inside Japan.

One of Clarion’s directors, Alex Soar, went on to clarify DSEI Japan’s goals in a brief interview shared by the organizer. According to Soar, Tokyo’s rising defense budget is a positive indicator for an arms show’s success. “There is a huge amount of interest in their plans, with many looking for a route to market in the Asia-Pacific defense sector,” he said.

According to Soar DSEI Japan is aiming to attract 250 exhibitors (the list so far is just 23 companies) with 20 international pavilions and a visitor turnout in the 5,000 person range. Soar even boasted “the learning experience will also be fully immersive, with high-level conferences, practical seminars and workshops as well as dozens of live demonstrations.”

“There will also be plenty of networking on multiple levels,” the director said. This means companies who want to participate are encouraged to do so at once. “If our exhibitors are looking to do something a little more bespoke, we’d love to hear about it!” Soar added.

Japan’s military budget in 2017 totaled $45.3 billion. While the country has enjoyed uninterrupted peace for 73 years it maintains a formidable military focused on national defense. But with Tokyo’s security environment now complicated by North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and China’s territorial ambitions, the defense ministry is undertaking a multi-faceted effort to strengthen shore-based anti-missile countermeasures; improve operational flexibility with its allies in the Quad; upgrade its naval assets; and adopt bleeding edge stealth and hypersonic technology.

To date, a few big names in global aerospace and military equipment have confirmed their appearance next year. The list so far includes BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Israel Aerospace Industries, Glock, Rafael, and Rolls Royce, to name a few. DSEI Japan is scheduled from November 18 until 20 next year in the Makuhari Messe. Exhibitors are now invited to either learn more about the event or book their company’s space at the show. 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for DSEI Japan.

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