Two of Japan's biggest aircraft makers are in talks with Boeing over a deal to assemble passenger jet bodies in Japan.
Under the deal, Mitsubishi and Kawasaki would assemble main cabin sections currently assembled in the United States.
A Kawasaki spokesman says it is uncertain when a contract would be signed, if an agreement is reached.
Mitsubishi and Kawasaki currently build body parts for Boeing's 777 and 767 jetliners.
Due to a steep fall in the number of passengers after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, the companies had been expecting a drop in orders from Boeing.
Since then, Boeing has said it will try to cut costs by outsourcing more production.