Japan will set up a framework for working with Malaysia in producing aircraft parts and training aviation industry personnel, its first such cooperation in Asia, government sources have said recently.
Japan aims to sign an agreement with Malaysia this summer, seeking to strengthen ties with Asia's growing commercial aircraft market and help small to medium Japanese parts makers expand their business.
The initiative comes as the Japanese government seeks to expand the production value of the country's aircraft industry to 3 trillion yen ($27 billion) in 2030 from 1.8 trillion yen in 2018 by stepping up cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.
Malaysia has been promoting the aircraft industry, and major U.S. aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and others have their production bases in the country.
Under the framework, Japan hopes to expand supply chains in which Japan-made high precision parts are assembled in Malaysia.
Japanese parts makers have already entered Malaysia, including Imai Aero-Equipment Mfg. Co., Asahi Aero Group Inc. and Wada Aircraft Technology Co.
Worldwide, the commercial aircraft market is expected to grow over the next 20 years, with demand for some 40,000 planes expected, around 40 percent of which will be in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Japanese industry ministry.
Major U.S. and European aircraft-related manufacturers are also expanding their output in Asia.