Japan approves new guidelines to export military equipment and weapons 0104144

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Defence & Security News - Japan

 
 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 01:47 PM
 
Japan approves new guidelines to export military equipment and weapons.
Japan significantly eased its rules on sales of military equipment after nearly four decades of tight restrictions on weapons exports, in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy of having the country's defense establishment play a greater role.
     
Japan significantly eased its rules on sales of military equipment after nearly four decades of tight restrictions on weapons exports, in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy of having the country's defense establishment play a greater role.
Japan has broad experience in the design and manufacture of military equipment. In October 2013, Japan has unveiled a new 8x8 combat vehicle, the MCV 8x8 (Maneuver Combat Vehicle).
     

Mr. Abe's cabinet on Tuesday approved an overhaul of Japan's guidelines on weapons exports, calling the old rules "outdated" and overly complex. The new rules aim to rationalize the process under which Japan can share its defense technology and provide military equipment to allies for the purposes of rescue, transport, surveillance and minesweeping.

Given the "increasing severity" of Japan's security environment, and the "complex and important security issues" facing the country, Japan must take "a more assertive approach from the perspective of international cooperation," the new guidelines said.

Since 1967, Japan had prohibited the export of weapons to communist states, nations under United Nations embargo, and those engaged in international conflict. The policy, known as "Three Basic Principles of Weapons Exports," was expanded in 1976 to an outright ban on all weapons exports.


The revised guidelines update restrictions on recipients of Japanese defense equipment, prohibiting exports to states that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions or international treaties that Japan has signed, or those that engage in military conflict.

The new rules also aim to replace the near-total export ban with clear guidelines on when military equipment can be shipped overseas, and specify that Japan's National Security Council is the highest body overseeing the review process for sensitive exports of military technology and equipment.

The trade ministry will be responsible for publicizing annual reports on permits it has allowed for such exports.

 

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