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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 2 - 8  > Gov’t abandons Japan’s arms embargo principles
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2014 April 2 - 8 [POLITICS]

Gov’t abandons Japan’s arms embargo principles

April 2, 2014
The Abe Cabinet on April 1 decided to abolish the three principles banning arms exports and introduced a new set of principles with the aim of promoting arms trade.

The new three principles deny the key idea of the previous principles that Japan should refrain from becoming involved in international disputes with a self-imposed ban on arms exports.

The new principles prohibit Japan from selling arms only to nations which are under sanction by the UN Security Council, while permitting Japan to export weapons to countries involved in international conflicts, including the U.S. and Israel.

Under the new principles, the Japanese government can justify arms exports to any countries if the government considers arms export as “contributing to the nation’s security interests”. As the new principles set no limit on the type of weapons it can export, Japan will be able to sell not only parts and technologies but also finished products.

The new principles allow the U.S. to trade with third countries in military products jointly developed and produced with Japan, such as F-35 fighter jets and weapons and technology associated with the missile defense system, without Japan’s prior consent.

The National Security Council on the same day adopted the operational guidelines for the new principles which include a provision that the NSC will make decisions on important cases regarding arms exports.
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