As Japan continues to move to ease its arms export ban that has been imposed since the time of the Cold War, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would allow the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty. Since no further approval from the House of Councilors is needed, the bill is expected to breeze through the Diet and will soon be passed before the current session ends.
The United Nations General Assembly appointed the treaty as a way to regulate the trade of various weapons and armaments among nations. This includes tanks, helicopters, small arms and even combat aircrafts. Countries who agree to ratify the treaty will not be allowed to engage in selling, buying and brokering deals that might be used for terrorism, genocide or if it violates a U.N. Security Council resolution. According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, 31 nations have already ratified the Arms Trade Treaty since its adoption by the assembly.
Japan has recently opened its doors to export defense equipment and technology on the premise that it promotes international cooperation and upholds Japan’s national security interests. However, many remain conflicted with Japan’s adoption of the treaty and the export of equipment and technology, saying it is against the pact. But the government maintained that such exports are valid and contain no “inconsistencies” with the treaty the lower house recently approved.