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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 February 25 - March 3  > Top DPJ official calls for arms export ban to be reviewed
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2009 February 25 - March 3 [POLITICS]

Top DPJ official calls for arms export ban to be reviewed

February 27, 2009
Former Democratic Party Vice President Maehara Seiji called for Japan to review the present policy of prohibiting arms exports in order to pave the way for Japan’s participation in international joint arms development.

Japan has “Three Principles on Arms Export” that prohibits arms sales 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. These principles were first set out by then Prime Minister Sato Eisaku in 1967 at a House of Representatives Audit Committee meeting. In 1981, both houses of the Diet adopted a resolution confirming the “Three Principles”.

During his questioning of Prime Minister Aso Taro’s recent visit to the United States at the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on February 26, Maehara stated, “The time is ripe for Japan to fundamentally review its alliance with the United States.” He then said that Japan should participate in joint arms development projects with other countries.

Maehara emphasized that the Three Principles banning Arms Exports has been a stumbling block to joint arms development.

Citing the Chief Cabinet Secretary statement of 2004 that the government made Japan-U.S. joint development and production of missile defense-related items an exception to the Three Principles, Prime Minister Aso said that ending the arms export ban will be dealt with.
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