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Boeing lining up Japanese suppliers for 777X

Boeing Co. will count on Japanese companies to build about one-fifth of its newest airplane, the 777X. Companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries could get more work as the Chicago-based aircraft maker tries to increase production beyond the current 8.3 per month, Reuters reports.

Boeing uses companies all over the world to make parts of its airplanes. But Japan Airlines’ decision to order planes from rival Airbus left some observers wondering if Japanese manufacturers might play a smaller role in Boeing’s next plane.

Japanese companies make about 21 percent of the Boeing 777 and about 35 percent of Boeing’s Dreamliner 787. A Boeing spokesman in Toyko declined to comment.