The government has officially decided to drastically revise the nation’s so-called three principles on arms exports, which would make it possible for Japan to participate in the development and production of military equipment with other countries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Tuesday.

Fujimura read the statement on the decision to establish new rules that would relax the longstanding effective ban on arms exports. The new guidelines are called “criteria regarding overseas transfers of defense equipment.”

The new criteria comprise two key elements:

— Japan may participate in joint projects to develop and produce military equipment and technology with other countries, such as the United States and European nations.

— Japan may export defense-related equipment to support peace-building or humanitarian objectives.

The three principles on arms exports were first laid down in April 1967 by then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato during Diet deliberations. The principles prohibited Japan from selling weapons to communist states, countries subject to embargoes under U.N. resolutions and nations involved in armed international conflicts.

Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun

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