Japan Ends Half-Century Ban on Weapons Exports

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Yusuf, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TOKYO — Taking his nation another step away from its postwar pacifism, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discarded a half-century ban on the export of weapons and military hardware on Tuesday, a move aimed at helping Japan assume a larger regional security role to offset China’s growing military might.

    The decision, which had been under consideration for years before Mr. Abe took office, replaced the self-imposed ban dating back to the late 1960s with new, still-restrictive guidelines that permit the export of weapons only to allies and partners that agree not to sell them to third nations without Japanese approval. The new guidelines will also make it easier for Japan to join multinational development projects for expensive new weapons systems, like the American-led effort to build the F-35 stealth fighter jet.

    The move formalizes a change that had already begun in incremental steps a few years ago, as Japan created a growing number of exceptions to its export ban, known as the “three principles.” The principles were one of the most visible pillars of Japan’s post-World War II renunciation of war along with its pacifist Constitution, which Mr. Abe has also said he wants to revise.

    Adopted in 1967, the three principles originally prohibited arms sales to Communist countries, countries under United Nations sanctions and countries in armed conflict, but it eventually grew into a blanket ban on all weapons exports.

    Analysts said getting rid of the principles was partly aimed at opening new markets for Japanese defense companies at a time when Japan’s own military spending, while up for the first time in a decade, remains severely constrained by ballooning budget deficits. But they said Mr. Abe had finally decided to carry out the long-discussed change to achieve a larger strategic goal: increasing Japan’s regional influence by offering its technologically sophisticated defense hardware to other countries locked in territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China.

    Analysts described the decision as a step toward Mr. Abe’s goal of turning long-passive Japan, which has Asia’s second-largest economy after China, into a more proactive player in regional security. Japanese officials say Mr. Abe wants to do this by turning Japan into a full-fledged defense partner of the United States, which has guaranteed Japan’s security since the war but has recently been forced to cut military spending because of fiscal problems of its own.

    American officials, who have long urged Japan to assume more of the defense burden, have said they will welcome a lifting of the ban.

    Analysts say Japan is reacting to a shifting balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region brought by a relative decline in American dominance and a rapid military buildup by China. One of Japan’s responses has been to build military ties with nations other than the United States, including Australia and India. Analysts said ending the ban on weapons exports would help expand those ties by removing legal obstacles to proposed deals, including sales of Japanese-made diesel attack submarines to Australia and seaplanes to India.

    Tuesday’s move will also make it easier for Japan to provide military aid to less developed Southeast Asian countries, to help them respond to increasingly assertive Chinese claims to contested territories in the South China Sea. This strategy, known as capacity building, has also been adopted by the United States to check China’s territorial ambitions while avoiding a direct confrontation between Washington and Beijing.

    Japan has already been doing this to a limited degree, by supplying civilian coast guard ships to the Philippines, which is locked in a dispute with China over control of uninhabited islands. Experts said Tuesday’s move would make it easier for Japan to provide military equipment to help not only the Philippines but also Vietnam and Indonesia enforce their claims. They said the decision may also be an early step toward Japan’s eventually taking a more direct role that could include forming military alliances with Southeast Asian countries or dispatching Japanese warships to jointly patrol contested waters.

    “This is part of the Abe government’s strategy to maintain the balance of power in the region,” said Narushige Michishita, a specialist in security studies at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. “Japan can provide arms, technology and training to Southeast Asian nations in particular to help strengthen their capabilities to fend off Chinese pressure.”

    Mr. Michishita said Tuesday’s decision would also help Japan financially by allowing it to sell some of its weapons, and thus help defray development costs. At the same time, he does not expect Japan to turn into a major supplier of military equipment, which currently accounts for less than 1e percent of all industrial goods produced in Japan, he said.

    Two of Japan’s Asian neighbors were more cautious about Tuesday’s decision. A Chinese government spokesman said his country was watching the move, while Cho Tai-young, a South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, said the change “should be carried out with the maximum level of transparency in consideration of concerns by neighboring countries,” according to Japan’s Kyodo News agency.

    South Korea, which was brutally colonized by Japan in the early 20th century, has been particularly sensitive to any sign that Japan may be trying to remilitarize.


    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/0...ry-ban-on-weapons-exports.html?_r=0&referrer=
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We will get the seaplanes.

    We can look to codevelop weapons and also import weapons system we need urgently. I think we should look at Japan for submarines as well
     
  4. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Another Shop Opened for India
     
  5. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Yes setting up of JV will be the right way instead of buyign weapons :thumb:
     
  6. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    will japs be so ready for JV with us ? i thought they had the same mentality of US in the case of joint venture and transfer of technologies etc....
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India shd luk at incl Japan's Soryu class subs with AIP for project 75I http://t.co/lwO0dKh46K

    Try to work a gvt to gvt deal. This will also enhance strategic ties between our countries
     
  8. laughingbuddha

    laughingbuddha Regular Member

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    They make good aegis destroyers. More like cruisers actually.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We are making out own destroyers.
     
  10. laughingbuddha

    laughingbuddha Regular Member

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    I know. Just not as good as theirs.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We can't import forever
     
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  12. laughingbuddha

    laughingbuddha Regular Member

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    Not import. Collaborate. With common concerns I am sure the japanese would not be averse to trading technology with us. We can learn a lot from them. Efficiency, precision etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  13. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    So how long we will be just importing 70% of our defence equipment

    - They will sell sub standard equipment
    - After sales support will be poor and they will use this as decoy in future negotiation
    - middle men get hefty sum
    - Armed force get outdated tech
    - Country spends huge forex in arms bazaar

    there are many flaws:sad:
     

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