The Japanese government has decided to lift the cap off of its decades-old weapon exports ban. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura announced this slightly surprising decision at a press conference. Many are worried that the lifting of the ban could return Japan to a path of militarism which it swore to never take after its defeat in World War II. Fujimura emphasized that Japan will still be pacifist and will carefully filter weapon exports so they don’t end up in the wrong places (re: unstable and war-torn areas).
Many politicians, including some in the ruling DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) have criticized the decision largely because of the implications it may hold for the country’s constitution and its principles which are responsible for the little expansion and tight control of the small Japanese Self Defense Forces.
Some analysts are worried that unintended consequences for the arms markets and political stability in the region will pop up as a result of the decision.
The decision was made due to the economic difficulties, including an increase in national debt and the reparation costs for damaged tsunami and earthquake earlier this year, Japan’s domestic sectors are experiencing.
Moreover, huge pressure given off by the big business and defense sector lobbyists has been slowly breaking down the wall.
Japanese corporations and manufacturers will now be able to take part in international research and development of advanced weapons while at the same time opening up a new market of advanced Japanese software, equipment and materials for other countries throughout the world.
The arms export ban was originally limited to the communist bloc and other certain countries during the 1960′s but was expanded to a general ban which has effectively blocked Japanese companies from the outside world in arms development up to present day.
(Cover Photo: Euronews)