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Mitsubishi Electric wins 71-cent contract for Japan defense ministry project

This file photo shows the logo for Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Mainichi/Yukiko Murata)
The Ministry of Defense is seen in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has accepted a fiscal 2020 Japan government contract for a research project on devising Air Self-Defense Force tactics systems for just 77 yen (about 71 cents), an exceptionally low figure on par with the 22-yen one it inked in January.

    Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi announced the 77-yen contract at a March 22 meeting of the House of Councillors' Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense.

    According to the government's Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, the new contract is for "research and study on tactical-level research functions." It will investigate systems for devising tactics of other countries, including the United States. Two firms bid for the contract; on December 15, 2020, Mitsubishi, which offered the lowest price at 77 yen, was chosen.

    On March 22, Takaki Kawashima, deputy director-general for policy planning at the defense ministry, was asked by Shinkun Haku of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan about the repeated low-priced contracts from the same company. Kawashima explained, "If certain levels of quality and specifications required by the government are met, then in principle, the government's contract system allows for competition based on price alone."

    In January, Mitsubishi was awarded an unusual 22-yen (about 20 cents) contract for a research project on the practical application of "limb observation," in which multiple satellites are placed at the same altitude to monitor new missiles being developed by China, North Korea and other countries.

    (Japanese original by Shu Hatakeyama, Political News Department)

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