China, South Korea and Japan are to boost joint research into a new computer operating system to rival Microsoft Windows.
The project, expected to be open-source software, was proposed by Japan and is intended to give a helping hand to Windows rivals, such as Linux.
The Japanese Government has already earmarked one billion yen (US$85.5m) for the project.
"Japan does not have the intention of rejecting a certain product," a spokesman for Japan's Minister of Trade, Takeo Hiranuma, said.
"However Microsoft Windows dominates everywhere, although people also want to test different products. Therefore it is important to work on alternatives."