Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 June 5 - 11  > Treaty that paves way to turning Japan into a ‘merchant of death’ approved
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2024 June 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Treaty that paves way to turning Japan into a ‘merchant of death’ approved

June 6, 2024

A treaty aimed at establishing 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 was approved at the House of Councilors plenary session on June 5.

Along with the ruling parties, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party, and the Democratic Party for the People supported the treaty. The Japanese Communist Party and the parliamentary group “Okinawa Whirlwind” opposed the treaty.

During the Diet deliberation, the JCP emphasized that the treaty will open the door to turning Japan into a “merchant of death”. In addition, the JCP criticized the GCAP for only benefiting the defense industry because the government intends to spend a huge amount of tax money to cover the ballooning development costs.

In discussions at an Upper House committee meeting ahead of the plenary session, in response to JCP lawmaker Yamazoe Taku, Defense Minister Kihara Minoru said that the ministry estimated that the next-generation fighter development between FY 2023 and FY 2027 will cost roughly 770 billion yen. As the government plans to complete the development by the end of fiscal 2035, it is highly likely that the total cost will swell to several trillion yen.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, which participates in the GCAP jointly with British and Italian companies, in May published its financial statements for fiscal 2023. The statements showed that compared to the previous year, the value of the orders for defense and space projects increased by 3.4 times to about 1.9 trillion yen and the amount of sales went up by 1.3 times to 606 billion yen. The company will gain huge benefits from the GCAP.

Yamazoe’s questioning on the GACP treaty at the Upper House committee meeting revealed that the treaty guarantees GIGO staff members special privileges such as immunity from arrest and detention, which may lead to corruption.

When asked by the JCP lawmaker whether or not Japanese investigative authorities can investigate and prosecute GIGO officials under suspension of bribery or involvement in other scandals, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy Bureau Kobe Yasuhiro gave no clear response.

Past related article:
> Conclusion of treaty on trilateral fighter jet program will turn Japan into a ‘merchant of death’ [ April 26, 2024]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved