Japan's ruling coalition intends to propose that the country's parliament review the current restrictions on the export of defense equipment and allow the transfer of weapons to nations being invaded by others in violation of international law, The Japan Times reports.
Such a legislative initiative in the extremely sensitive issue of arms trade for Japanese society has been caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the need to provide Kyiv with a sufficient number of weapons to fend off the aggressor.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, are likely to propose discussions for exporting a next-generation fighter jet that Japan will jointly develop with Britain and Italy. The two parties are discussing a proposed easing of self-imposed restrictions on transfers of defense equipment and technology to other countries.
Under its current guidelines, Japan can export defense equipment related to any of the five categories of rescue, transportation, vigilance, surveillance and minesweeping, and only to countries that contribute to its own national security.
The LDP wants to scrap all five categories to open the way for exporting lethal equipment. Komeito argues, however, that any change in the guidelines should be limited to adding, if necessary, other categories such as land mine removal and education training.
As gaps remain between LDP and Komeito, they decided to reach a conclusion on the matter no earlier than autumn.
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