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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 January 11 - 17  > Militarization of economy will lead to collapse of Japan: economics professor
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2017 January 11 - 17 [ECONOMY]

Militarization of economy will lead to collapse of Japan: economics professor

January 12, 2017
The Abe government is placing the munitions industry at the core of its economic growth strategy in line with the business world’s demand. However, such a policy would lead to bringing about a collapse of the Japanese economy, Oberlin University Professor Fujita Minoru pointed out in an Akahata interview on January 12.

Following is a summary of Fujita’s interview.

The Abe government in 2014 revised the three principles banning arms exports as part of its move to help Japanese companies sell weapons abroad. The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) in September 2015 issued a proposal calling for a national strategy to promote arms exports. In 2016, Japan participated in a bid for Australia’s project to build large scale submarines although it was unsuccessful.

So far, the amount of weapons sales by Japanese corporations is not so large. Yet, they have advanced technology skills necessary to construct patrol ships, missiles, submarines, tanks, radar systems, and other military equipment. Once these companies begin conducting the business of producing military products for export, Japan’s munitions industry will become one of the largest in the world.

However, from a social point of view, weapons do not benefit or are useful to society. Arms are things that state governments buy and consume in a totally nonproductive manner.

On the other hand, weapons makers have little difficulty in finding customers and securing profit. In other words, unlike businesses in other industries, they can enjoy a stable demand and higher profits. Kawasaki Heavy Industries is one of such companies in Japan. The company suffers from decreasing orders of civilian ships and operating losses, but its percentage of weapons sales reached 12.8% in 2015. Another example is NEC whose sales of information and telecommunication systems are floundering. The corporation in 2015 sold 922 million dollars of products from its munitions department, more than doubled from 1998.

The weapons industry does not contribute to social reproduction. In addition, it is a parasite on national governments which use a huge amount of taxpayers’ money for purchases. The militarization of the economy and industry might pave the way for an economic collapse in Japan.
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