Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 December 13 - 19  > Gov’t seeks to open path to exports of lethal arms made in Japan under foreign license
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2023 December 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Gov’t seeks to open path to exports of lethal arms made in Japan under foreign license

December 18, 2023

Akahata reported on December 18 that the Japanese government intends to open a path to exports of lethal weapons produced by Japan’s defense companies under foreign licenses.

This move indicates the possibility that Japan-made lethal weapons will be used in international conflicts like the one in Gaza.

According to a list of licensed military equipment, which Akahata obtained from the Defense Ministry, firearms and ammunition are produced in Japan under licenses from firms in the U.S. and seven European nations.

Under the current rule, only weapons manufactured under license by U.S. companies are allowed to be exported to the U.S.

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties’ working team discussing lifting the ban on arms exports on December 13 decided on a proposal which calls on the government to ease the current rule in order to enable licensed products to be sent to patent-holder nations other than the U.S. Under the proposal, it is highly likely that lethal weapons licensed from foreign nations will be transferred to third countries including those in conflict. The government plans to revise the current three principles banning arms trade and its operation guidelines in line with this proposal.

The head of the Network against Japan Arms Trade (NAJAT), Sugihara Koji, pointed out that Article 9 of the Constitution prohibits the use of force as means to settle international disputes.

Sugihara said that when looking at the ongoing genocidal situation in Gaza where children and civilians are killed by weapons supplied by the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Germany to the Israeli force, it is unacceptable that the ruling parties through closed-door discussions abolish Japan’s basic principle, as a pacifist nation, of not exporting arms.

Past related article:
> Citizens hold protest against ruling coalition’s hasty move to end Japan’s ban on arms exports [August 24, 2023]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved