Business leaders call for lifting arms export ban

The Japan Business Federation (JBF or Nippon Keidanren) on July 20 made a proposal calling for easing the country's ban on arms export with a view to promoting Japan-U.S. missile development and arms export.

The association of business leaders is calling for a review of the 1967 Three Principles on Arms Export and the 1969 Diet resolution and the law limiting Japan's space development to peaceful purposes.

If Japan-U.S. joint research of "missile defense" technology reaches the stage of development and production, Japan's related exports to the U.S. and other countries will be restricted by the Three Principles on Arms Export.

The Three Principles on Arms Export is a national policy Prime Minister Sato Eisaku announced on April 21, 1967 at the House of Representatives Audit Committee. It calls for Japan's arms export to be prohibited to "communist bloc countries, countries to which the export of arms is prohibited under U.N. resolution, and countries involved in or likely to become involved in international conflict."

Concerning national space development, the Diet in 1969 resolved to ban space development for military purposes.

The Keidanren's argument calls for the government to end the ban to pave the way for the use of space for military purposes.

The report also calls for transforming Self-Defense Forces activities so that they can "make an international contribution appropriate to Japan as a major economy."

Akahata on July 21 reported that the Keidanren proposal represents the view of the arms industry which openly advocates more overseas dispatches of the SDF. (end)

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