New Supersonic Airliner
Source: New Scientist
On 14th June 2005, Japan and France signed a three year agreement to jointly develop a new commercial supersonic jet, including the development of lightweight composite materials. It's not thought to be a Nissan-Renault project.
Meanwhile, Japan is scheduled to perform aerodynamic testing of an unmanned prototype in Australia in September 2005 by strapping a mock up to a rocket.
In case you thought that only UK and USA manufacture high thrust gas turbine engines, Japan has already tested a high-speed engine to mach 5.5 with success. The aircraft project targets very low weight and drag with 300 seats and a New York/Tokyo sector time of 6 hrs. The project includes research into sonic boom noise reduction whilst NASA has recently awarded four $1.0m projects to four industry teams to also research lower noise sonic booms.