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Tags: japan | arms | sales | ban

Japan Plans to Lift Historic Ban on Arm Sales

By    |   Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:07 AM EST

In another sign that Japan is moving away from its post-World War II pacifist approach to foreign policy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government plans to lift Tokyo’s longstanding embargo on weapons exports, Asahi Shimbun reported.  
 
According to draft principles submitted to the country’s governing coalition earlier this month, the government will allow arms exports which are found to “contribute to Japan’s national security.”
 
Previously, Japan’s rules on arms sales were codified by policies that effectively banned weapons exports.

The new, loosely defined principles would still bar weapons sales to countries subject to weapons embargoes pursuant to United Nations resolutions and nations deemed likely to become involved in foreign conflicts, according to Asahi Shimbun. 
 
But they would end what has been a de facto blanket prohibition on weapons sales. Japan’s new National Security Council would likely decide which transactions would be approved.
Government officials hope to formally agree on the new policy before Jan. 1.

Ironically, despite the fact that the draft principles would also lift a Cold War-era ban on sales to communist countries, Beijing has depicted them in a negative light.

“Although Tokyo, until today, is still emphasizing the defensive side of its policy pursuits, it is undeniable that it has shown a growing desperation for military buildup, and therefore an increasing hostility against China,” Wang Shan, a researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told China Daily.

Recent public opinion polls indicate that 80 percent of the Japanese public believe their nation to be “under threat” of being dragged into a major war, Wang added, creating substantial public support for moves like ending the weapons export embargo. 

Liu Jiangyong, a Japanese studies expert at China’s Tsinghua University, warned that the “the pacifist forces within Japan may suffer more” as a result of the current political trend. But “right-wing forces are free from powerful restrictions of Japanese laws.”
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GlobalTalk
In another sign that Japan is moving away from its post-World War II pacifist approach to foreign policy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government plans to lift Tokyo’s longstanding embargo on weapons exports, Asahi Shimbun reported.
japan,arms,sales,ban
325
2013-07-11
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:07 AM
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