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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 October 12 - 18  > ‘Merchant of death’ fair held in Tokyo amid public protest
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2016 October 12 - 18 [POLITICS]

‘Merchant of death’ fair held in Tokyo amid public protest

October 16, 2016
Amid fierce protests, the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies on October 12-15 held the 2016 Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo. Joined by military-related manufacturers from inside and outside Japan, the event was essentially a weapons trade fair.

Near the event venue, a citizens’ group named “Network Against Japan Arms Trade” staged a protest against the event. Holding photos of children killed in Israeli attacks, the protesters appealed to passersby that Japan should not become a merchant of death.

From 31 countries and regions, 792 companies and organizations participated in the fair. The Japanese Defense Ministry’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) and the Air Self-Defense Force set up a booth under the pretext of the need to exchange information with foreign participants. NHK and Nikkei Shimbun supported the event.

At the fair, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry showed a video of an experimental aircraft which would become Japan’s first fighter jet. Lockheed Martin of the U.S. exhibited a model of a F35 fighter jet outside the event venue.

Israel-based Elbit Systems, to which the Abe government is said to be trying to build up relations for a joint drone development project, was also an exhibitor. Companies from India, Taiwan, and other countries or regions enthusiastically promoted their products, including various types of missiles.

Past related articles:
> Civic network launched to oppose ‘merchants of death’ [February 8, 2016]
> Arms agency inaugurated in violation of constitutional pacifism [October 5, 2015]
> Abe’s plan to use public fund to support arms exports unacceptable [May 29, 2015]
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