Earlier this month, Japan lifted a self-imposed
ban on arms exports that dated back five decades. The Abe administration has been pushing to
strengthen Japan’s military capabilities and potential buyers are already lining up to
buy what the country has to offer. Song Ji-sun reports.
A half-a-century long ban on Japan’s arms export has been lifted… to help the nation
beef up its weapons industry and self-defense capabilities.
Japan’s post-World War II constitution drawn up in 1967 banned the country from waging
war. Japan’s cabinet says the country’s arms exports
will be monitored closely. Weapons will not be transferred to countries
that violate international treaties or UN Security Council resolutions,… and arms
exports are only allowed if they contribute to peace or Japan’s national security.
Less than a week after easing its arms export regulations, Japan signed an agreement with
Australia to jointly develop submarines… while sealing a free trade deal.
And plenty more foreign buyers are lining up.
According to Japanese daily Nihon Keizai last week, officials from France and Britain have
already paid visits to defense contractors like Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Tokyo is also likely to transfer weapons to Southeast Asian countries in similar situations
with territorial disputes with China… to bolster support on the issue. “The major goal of developing weapons is to
arm the nation’s own army. But when you also export the weapons, you
can arm them at a lower cost because of the increased sales,… and at the same time acquire
a partially controlling power over the country that imports your weapons.” The world’s top exporters, the United States
and Russia make up more than half of the world’s weapons providers combined.
Other leaders include Germany, France, and Britain, along with China, which is now the
world’s fifth largest arms exporter. But with Japan now in the mix — experts say
it’s now only a matter of time before the country emerges as one of the top players.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.