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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 April 24 - May 7  > Conclusion of treaty on trilateral fighter jet program will turn Japan into a ‘merchant of death’
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2024 April 24 - May 7 [POLITICS]

Conclusion of treaty on trilateral fighter jet program will turn Japan into a ‘merchant of death’

April 26, 2024
The House of Representatives at its plenary session on April 25 began discussing a treaty which establishes an international government organization (GIGO) to promote the planned co-development of a next-generation fighter jet (Global Combat Air Programme or GCAP) by Japan, the U.K., and Italy.

Japanese Communist Party representative Miyamoto Toru used his question time to oppose the treaty. He said that under the treaty, together with the U.K. and Italy, Japan will not only develop and produce fighter jets but will also sell such lethal weapons to third-parties. He said, “It is unacceptable for the government to ratify the treaty that will allow Japan to shift away from its position as a pacifist nation and descend into being a ‘merchant of death’ benefitting from arms exports.”

Miyamoto referred to a government explanation that the export of the next-gen combat aircraft will be limited to countries which concluded with Japan an agreement obliging the use of weapons imported from Japan in a manner “consistent with the UN Charter”. However, the JCP lawmaker pointed out, among those countries, there are the United States and Britain which launched the Iraq War in 2003 in violation of the UN Charter.

In addition, regarding the government policy prohibiting the fighter jets from being transferred to countries where “combat is taking place”, Miyamoto pointed out that this policy allows the transfer of the warplanes to countries which engage in warfare outside their territories. As an example, he cited the U.S. and asked if the government intends to export lethal weapons to the U.S. which has repeatedly invaded other countries such as Iraq in violation of international law. In response, Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko argued that the U.S.-led Iraq War was legitimated by UN Security Council resolutions.

Miyamoto demanded that Japan reinstate the policy of prohibiting arms exports and step back from the GIGO treaty.

Past related article:
> JCP Policy Commission Chair Yamazoe issues statement on Cabinet decision to export next-generation fighter jets [March 28, 2024]
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