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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 January 27 - February 2  > Defense minister must not speak for arms industry Akahata editorial (excerpt)
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2010 January 27 - February 2 [POLITICS]

Defense minister must not speak for arms industry
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

January 31, 2010
Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi at the meeting of the Japan Ordnance Association on January 12 stated, “It is time for Japan to basically review the three principles banning arms exports.”

The association is a core organization of the weapons industry in Japan. Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio admonished the defense minister to not make such careless remarks, and Kitazawa then made the statement that the three principles should be maintained.

In the House of Representatives Budget Committee on January 22, however, the defense minister again called for the need to “review” the ban.

Behind the defense minister’s insistence on reviewing the ban is his stance of giving priority to the interests of the war industry.

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) in its proposal toward establishing a policy on the defense industry published in July 2009 called for a review of the three principles banning weapons exports as the declines in the defense budget are worrying. Obviously, the defense minister is acting as the government spokesperson of business circles and the munitions industry.

Under the present three principles on weapons exports, the munitions industry is prohibited from exporting weapons.

If the government allows the munitions industry to export weapons to other countries, these weapons will be used in regional conflicts and wars in the world to injure and kill many peoples.

Postwar Japan has not taken the lives of other peoples with its armed forces or its weapons. This is a major strength in its foreign policy.

The major current in the world today is to resolve international disputes not by going to war but by political and diplomatic means.

Only by strictly abiding by the three principles banning weapons exports can Japan play a part for peace in the world based on the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
- Akahata, January 31, 2010

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