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The Boeing Company and Japan

The Boeing Company has had a long-standing, cooperative relationship with Japan. Boeing Commercial Airplanes has worked closely with the Japanese aerospace industry since 1969, and other segments of Boeing have been working with Japanese firms for five decades. Boeing has played a strong supportive role in the development of the Japanese space industry since 1970. For the past 30 years, Japanese space development activities have maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with Boeing. Boeing is a leading provider of commercial jetliners to Japanese airlines; a major supplier of military equipment and aircraft to the Japanese Defense Agency; and a significant customer of, and partner with, the Japanese aerospace industry.

Click here to visit the Boeing Japan Web site.


Commercial Airplanes

Since the beginning of the jet era, Japan has been the largest single-country international market for Boeing commercial airplanes in dollar value. Through June 2005, Japan has ordered 796 Boeing airplanes worth more than $70 billion (in 2004 dollars). In the past decade, more than 80 percent of the airplanes ordered by Japanese customers have been Boeing products.

Japan is the largest customer for Boeing twin-aisle airplanes. Japan Airlines (JAL) is the largest 747 customer, having ordered 113 airplanes from the 747 family to date, and the JAL group is the largest 747 operator with 79 airplanes including those leased. All Nippon Airways (ANA) operates 56 Boeing 767s, making it the largest international customer for this family of airplanes. Together, Japan's major carriers -- JAL Group and ANA -- make Japan the largest international customer of the 777, with a total of 85 ordered. Also, in 1999, ANA became the first airline in the world to operate all three 777 models: the 777-200, -200ER, and -300.

The 787 Dreamliner was launched by 50 orders from ANA. In addition, Japan Airlines has selected the 787 as its next generation mid-sized twin aisle airplane and joined the 787 Launch Team.

During the next 20 years, Japan is expected to be one of the largest non-U.S. purchasers of commercial transports. Boeing expects that Japanese airlines will require 1,176 airplanes, valued at approximately $147 billion (in 2003 dollars) during this period.

Japan is also a dominant market (in dollar value) from which Boeing buys major assemblies, products and services. More than 91 Japanese companies are program partners, subcontractors, or suppliers to Boeing across its commercial-airplane product lines.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have worked with Boeing for more than 30 years. All three industries have participated in developing the 767 since its inception in 1978. They supply fuselage panels, aerodynamic fairings, landing-gear doors and inspar ribs, which are equal to approximately 15 percent of the value of the 767 airframe.

MHI, KHI, and FHI are also program partners on the 777. They participated in designing, manufacturing and testing of portions of the 777 airframe structure in the early 1990s and now supply about 20 percent of airframe, including fuselage panels and doors, the wing center section, the wing-to-body fairing and the wing inspar ribs. This 777 work package represents a significant increase from that of the 767. MHI, KHI and FHI will continue to work with Boeing for the duration of the 777 program. In addition, MHI, KHI, and FHI are also program partners on the 787 Dreamliner and will supply about 35 percent of airframe.

Other components provided by Japanese firms for Boeing commercial-airplane models include gear boxes, trailing-edge flaps, lavatories, altimeters, actuators, valves and video entertainment systems. For the 787 Dreamliner, Toray Industries provides composite materials for use in the primary structural area, JAMCO Corporation will provide lavatories, flight deck interiors -- including a stowage area, linings and the stowage consoles near the seats -- and the flight deck door and bulkhead assembly as well as Bridgestone will provide tires.

Additionally, Boeing Commercial Airplanes officials signed formal contracts with Japan Aircraft Development Corp. (JADC) to conduct research and development work on technologies including composites for the 787. JAI includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries.

The 787 will be a super-efficient airplane that can carry 223 to 259 passengers in tri-class configurations. It flies up to 8,500 nautical miles with bringing the economics and comfort of large jet transports to the middle of the market, using 20 percent less fuel than any other airplane.

Integrated Defense Systems

This unit was established in 2002 by integrating the Military Aircraft & Missiles and Space & Communications divisions. As a premier fighter aircraft developer and producer, Boeing's involvement with Japanese fighter aircraft dates back to 1971 when McDonnell Douglas delivered two F-4E Phantoms to the Japan Air Self Defense Force. The balance of 138 Phantoms were built in Japan, under a McDonnell Douglas license, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), the last of which were delivered in 1981.

In the same year, the first foreign delivery of 10 F-15 Eagles began under the "Peace Eagle" program. Additional four McDonnell Douglas-built F-15s were delivered to Japan in 1983 and since then, nearly 200 F-15J/DJ Eagles have been built by MHI under licensed production from Boeing. Boeing is currently involved with MHI in upgrading the F-15J/DJ aircraft to fulfill Japan's desired mission effectiveness well into the 21st century.

In 1980, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force first placed orders for the McDonnell Douglas Harpoon anti-ship missiles and since that time over 600 air-, ship- and submarine-launched Harpoon missiles have been delivered. Today, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force has the largest number of Harpoon missiles in its inventory, second only to the U.S. Navy.

In the spring of 1984, Boeing delivered the first of its CH-47 helicopters to the Japan Air Defense Forces. Since that time, approximately 60 CH-47s have been manufactured under license to Boeing, from Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and have been delivered to Japan Air and Ground Self Defense Forces.

In August 2001, the Boeing-made AH64D Apache Longbow was selected as replacement for the aging Japan Ground Self Defense Force's anti-tank helicopter under the Mid-term Defense Program (covering fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2005) as well as the Boeing 767 as the tanker aircraft for Air Defense Force in December 2001. In March 2003, Boeing and the Japan Defense Agency, along with the trading company ITOCHU, have signed contracts for the first of four aircraft for the Japan Air Self Defense Force 767 Tanker Transport program.

In space-related business, Boeing is playing a leadership role in shaping the future of the space transportation business by participating in a variety of programs, including the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle, the Delta family of expendable launch vehicles, and the international joint venture called Sea Launch, which launches commercial satellites from an ocean-going launch platform.

Boeing is in a unique cooperative relationship with Japan's aerospace industry in the evolving space-related business, jointly developing programs such as the Delta III project and advanced upper-stage engines. In 2000, Boeing announced a joint initiative between Boeing Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to develop a rocket engine designated the MB-XX. This joint initiative is to design and develop a new liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen upper-stage engine that will provide a high-efficiency, affordable and low-risk propulsion system for the next-generation expendable launch vehicles.

In addition, Boeing is working together with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA/Former NASDA) of Japan and other Japanese contractors and partners to provide hardware components and technical support related to Japan's participation in the International Space Station, in which its aerospace industry is playing an important role. These include the Japanese Experiment Module, JAXA Centrifuge Program module and JAXA's H-II Transfer Vehicle. Recently, Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. signed a cooperative agreement to jointly develop commercial applications related to ISS operation and utilization.

One of The Boeing Company's best-known and recognizable products is the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the world's standard for airborne early warning (AEW) systems. AWACS provides vital airborne surveillance and command, control and communications for tactical and air defense forces. Currently, 66 of the aircraft, designated E-3, are in service worldwide. Four of the new Boeing 767 versions have been delivered to the government of Japan. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force is the first customer for the Boeing 767 AWACS.

Connexion by Boeing

In addition to the traditional business activities, Japan is actively engaged with The Boeing Company in its transformation to an international aerospace enterprise pioneering new business areas. One such example is the strategic agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Corp (MELCO) to broaden cooperation in space-based communications, air traffic management, and multimedia. MELCO is also a partner with Connexion by Boeing to cooperate in areas such as phased array antennas, satellite transponders, orbital slots, and regulatory approvals.

ANA and JAL started to provide in-flight Internet service supported by Boeing on some long-haul flights in 2004.


Boeing has a significant presence in Japan, with more than 70 employees working with suppliers and partners at various locales. Their on-site presence supports the Boeing commitment to on-going relationships with Japanese industry.

Skipp Orr was named President of Boeing Japan in February 2002.



Japan purchased a Boeing F2B-1 for use as a sport plane. This was the first Japanese purchase of a Boeing aircraft.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries purchased a BT-9 trainer and also received manufacturing rights for the BT-9.

Boeing established operations in Japan, Boeing Japan Inc.

Emperor Akihito met with William Allen, president -- Boeing Airplane Co., and toured the Renton Assembly Facilities.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries first contracted with Boeing to build the 747 engine carriage kit. Today, Japanese aerospace manufacturers research, develop, design and produce critical components, airframe structure and parts for every Boeing commercial airplane.

Japan Air Self Defense Force took delivery of its first two F-4EJ Phantoms. These aircraft, along with other F-4EJ Phantoms and F-15J Eagles, were produced under licensing by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Since the inception of the 767 Program, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Fuji -- the three largest heavy industries aerospace manufacturing firms in Japan -- have been supplying Boeing with various parts, which together equate to approximately 15 percent of the airframe's value. The success of this program partnership led the way for more than 85 Japanese companies to become program partners, subcontractors or suppliers to Boeing on all current jetliner programs.

All Nippon Airways -- one of the largest Boeing 767 operators in the world -- took delivery of its 50th Boeing 767. Fifteen percent of the 767 airframe structure is produced by Japan Aircraft Industry.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways were among a number of carriers with whom Boeing held intensive discussions to define and develop the 777 configuration. All Nippon Airways was one of the launch customers of the Boeing 777, and became the first Asian carrier to operate the airplane it helped define.

Led by Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, and Fuji Heavy Industries, the Japan Aircraft Industry builds about 20 percent of the airframe structure --making Japan the largest single international participant in the 777 program.

Boeing became the prime contractor for the International Space Station, a permanent orbiting laboratory in space and the largest international scientific and technological endeavor undertaken in the 20th century. Japan is one of the 15 international partners that are participating in this immense scientific project.

Japan Air Systems launched a worldwide contest, "JAS B777 Rainbow Design Competition", in search of a distinct livery for its 777 fleet. The unsymmetrical, rainbow-ribbon design that won the contest was submitted by Masatomo Watanabe a 13-year-old middle school student from Hokkaido, Japan. The unique design is aptly named, "Rainbow 777".

Japan Air Self Defense Force became the first country to take delivery of the new 767-based Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).

Japan Airlines and The Boeing Company celebrated Japan Airlines delivery of its 100th Boeing 747. This delivery reaffirmed Japan Airlines' position as the largest Boeing 747 operator in the world.

Phil Condit, chairman and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company, visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. Obuchi recognized Boeing as the "model" of US-Japan business relations.

All Nippon Airways becomes the first airline in the world to operate all three models of the Boeing 777 family -- 777-200/-200ER/-300.

The Boeing Company participated in Tokyo International Aerospace Exhibit 2000. The Exhibit showcased Boeing displays on respective business operational units demonstrating long-term relationship it developed with Japanese aerospace firms.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways were among the launch customers of Boeing 777 Longer Range.

The Boeing Company launched in Tokyo the first international technology summit designed to enhance collaboration between technology leaders, governments and other key stakeholders in search for new technology solutions in aerospace, communications and beyond. Leaders from Boeing and more than 26 Japanese companies participated in the debate on broad range of technology challenges.

The Boeing-made AH64D Apache Longbow was selected as replacement for the aging Japan Ground Self Defense Force's anti-tank helicopter under the Mid-term Defense Program (covering fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2005).

Boeing 767 was selected as the tanker Transport for Air Defense Force in December 2001.

The Boeing Company and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation signed an agreement of the Strategic Alliance to cover space-based communications that includes launch services.

Boeing signed with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Fuji Heavy Industries and Japan Aircraft Development Corp. to conduct R&D work for Sonic Cruiser and other potential new airplanes

Connexion by Boeing Selected Mitsubishi Electric Corporation as strategic supplier for next-generation antenna.

In March 2003, Boeing and the Japan Defense Agency, along with the trading company ITOCHU, have signed contracts for the first of four aircraft for the Japan Air Self Defense Force 767 Tanker Transport program.

Boeing delivered JAL's 150th Boeing twin-aisle airplane.

Boeing sponsored a discussion forum in Tokyo on May 29, 2003, entitled the "Boeing Leadership Summit: Economic and Security Challenges in a Time of Dramatic Global Change" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Boeing's entry into Japan.

Boeing selected Teijin Seiki and Matsushita Avionics as candidate partner of the 787 Systems Technology Team.

Fuji Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were selected as the 787 airframe candidate companies.

All Nippon Airways finalized its agreement to purchase 45 Boeing 737-700 airplanes.

Japan Airlines and Connexion by Boeing signed definitive agreement for in-flight connectivity.

Boeing Japan Completed its 50th Anniversary Book, "Pacific Partners."

Boeing announced that they would expect Japanese companies to produce approximately 35 percent of the 787 airframe. Its plans call for Kawasaki Heavy Industries to design and build the forward body section, the main landing gear wheel well and the wing fixed trailing edge; Fuji Heavy Industries to design and build the center wing box and integrate it with the main landing gear wheel-well; and for the first time a Boeing partner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will design and build the main wing.

All Nippon Airways and Connexion by Boeing Signed Definitive Mobile Internet Services Agreement.

Connexion by Boeing and NTT DoCoMo signed an MOU for negotiating an associate service provider agreement that would make the Connexion by BoeingSM real-time, high-speed Internet service available to NTT DoCoMo's popular MzoneTM wireless LAN service users.

The Boeing Company's board of directors approved the formal launch of the new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet based on a firm order for 50 787s from All Nippon Airways.

Boeing selected Toray Industries, Inc., to provide TORAYCA® prepreg composites for use in the primary structural areas of the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing selected Matsushita Avionics Systems Corporation to provide the cabin services system for the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing selected Bridgestone to provide tires for the 787 Dreamliner.

Japan Airlines has selected the 787 Dreamliner as its next generation mid-sized twin aisle aircraft and joined the 787 Launch Team.

Japan Airlines has selected the 737NG for its next generation small-sized airplanes.

Boeing selected JAMCO Corporation to provide lavatories for the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing selected JAMCO Corporation to provide flight deck interiors -- including a stowage area, linings and the stowage consoles near the seats -- and the flight deck door and bulkhead assembly for the all-new 787 Dreamliner.

Japan Airlines completed the contract for the 787 Dreamliners and Next-Generation 737-800.

Boeing and Japan Aircraft Development Corporation (JADC), representing its three Japanese 787 structure partners -- Fuji Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- have signed formal contracts detailing their work agreements for the 787 Dreamliner.


June 2005