Mitsubishi is to begin taking orders for what it hopes will be the first passenger jet to be built in Japan.
The industrial giant will soon start marketing the passenger aircraft, which would seat 70 to 90 people.
A final decision on whether to go ahead with a full commercial venture will depend on the number of orders for the jet, which will be built at an estimated cost of $25-34m.
Mitsubishi estimates that globally there will be demand for 5,000 regional jets with 60 to 99 seats during the next two decades, and it aims to capture about 20% of the market.
Mitsubishi said it was also in discussions with US giant Boeing about possible cooperation.
It will not be the company's first foray into the aviation industry, as it has already manufactured wings for Boeing's next-generation 7E7 Dreamliner.
Honda Motor is also developing a light business jet and aims to begin production somewhere in the US in 2010 through a joint venture with Piper Aircraft.