Sources within the Japanese government are saying that the administration has already drafted new guidelines that would see the country reversing the decades old ban on exporting weapons. This move is seen as creating even more of a problem between Japan and its neighbors China and South Korea.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for a new security strategy in order to adapt to the increasing threat of the global environment, which includes China’s increasing military spending and North Korea’s continued nuclear program. Part of Abe’s plan is to strengthen the self-reliance of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. The revision to the arms exports ban will see them opening up the market to countries other than the United States when it comes to developing and producing weapons. The current rules, implemented since 1967, states three principles under which they cannot sell weapons to countries: those that are communist governments, those involved in international conflicts and those subject to United Nations sanctions.
The reported new guidelines will seek a “rigorous review” of proposals for arms exports if they are to be used for serving peaceful missions or if developing weapons with other countries will serve to better national security. The draft revision also removes the condition of not selling to countries involved in international conflicts, which means Japan can actually sell to Israel, who bought several Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jets that had Japanese-made parts. Abe’s administration is looking to have the new guidelines approved by the ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito as early as next month. This is expected to be met with strong resistance by Japan’s East Asian neighbors, both of whom have been former colonies and now have territorial and historical issues with Japan.
[ via Gulf Today ]