relationship with Japan was accepted as extremely important, cooperative arrangements between the United States and Japan had evolved differently than those with Europe. There was no established policy or overarching framework for technological cooperation with Japan, which NATO provided for Europe. In general terms the DSB task force was concerned with the lack of a cohesive overall U.S. strategy toward Japan that would integrate defense and economic interests.
One of the primary conclusions of the 1984 DSB study was that, although Japan might become a competitor for defense exports, the strategic value of closer cooperation outweighed the potential drawbacks of competition. It was believed that Japan would develop the capability to become a major defense exporter within 10 to 15 years, especially in aerospace technologies. Therefore, technological cooperation with Japan could prove costly in the long run. However, the importance of the bilateral relationship was paramount, and defense technology cooperation was seen as a means to strengthen that relationship. The DSB task force added the reservations that any initiative for cooperation must involve a two-way flow of technology, must serve the U.S. national interest, and must be integrated into a broader economic and security policy toward Japan.
The DSB task force recognized that Japan had developed comparable or superior technologies in several fields. While it believed that few of Japan’s narrowly defined military technologies were of interest, certain commercial and dual-use technologies could prove extremely valuable to U.S. defense industries. However, no comprehensive assessment of Japanese technology had yet been made, and it was believed that the United States knew relatively little about Japanese achievements and capabilities in most fields.
The DSB study advocated a “positive but tough approach” toward defense technology cooperation with Japan. Efforts should be broadened, but the United States should maintain a firm requirement of reciprocity and develop a means to assess the balance of technology exchange. Industry-to-industry initiatives were to be encouraged so long as they served national interests. The DSB task force recommended codevelopment of two significant military subsystems to gain experience with the difficulties and benefits of cooperation, with a DSB group meeting periodically to evaluate the net value of ongoing initiatives.
With regard to Japanese technology, the task force recommended initiation of a comprehensive program to rapidly translate Japanese technical and policy documents. It also suggested the application to Japan of recommendations made in the earlier NATO study. These included a presidential policy declaration that the United States was committed to global leadership in important military and commercial technologies, and a commensurate increase in national investment in defense and civilian research and development (RżD). The task force suggested that DoD initiate a comprehensive interagency study on an overall economic and defense strategy.
The 1989 DSB study on cooperation with Pacific Rim nations constituted a follow-on to the earlier NATO and Japan reports. First meeting in March 1988, the Pacific Rim task force sought to update those reports and incorporate increasingly important economic considerations. It also recognized the continued importance of defense technology cooperation. The stated U.S.