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08:05 AM, October 15, 2017
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Kawasaki C-2 Heavy Duty Military Transport Plane: Image by Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will launch the Nationwide Network of Aircraft Clusters (NNAC) later this year to sales to 3 trillion yen ($26.8 billion) in 2030 from 1.8 trillion yen in fiscal 2015.

Aircraft have millions of components whose repair and maintenance usually involves years of business contracts.

Japan is home to more than 40 so-called manufacturing clusters -- groups comprised of companies at various levels of the supply chain located in the same geographic area -- already supplying aircraft parts or preparing to enter the industry, according to the ministry, the Mainichi Daily reported today.

Examples include the Matsusaka cluster in central Japan, where a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. subsidiary is developing the first domestically produced passenger jet, and the Kobe Aero Network, which is endorsed by the western city.

The network entails forming a secretariat that would work to connect the clusters and creating a website where aircraft makers such as Boeing Co. and Airbus SE and engine makers like Rolls-Royce Holdings plc can gather information on such groups.

The ministry will ask each cluster to join the initiative, ministry officials said.

The hope is that stronger solidarity in the aeronautics industry will help boost competitiveness against foreign rivals as demand for aircraft increases amid economic growth in Asia.

Japan is hoping to enter the civilian and military aircraft industry in a big way after years of dependence on the US for aircraft.

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