Japan may allow partial arms exports amid Russia's war against Ukraine: details
The Japanese authorities are planning to allow the export of certain types of military equipment against the background of the Russian war against Ukraine. This refers to non-combat vehicles and vessels equipped with lethal weapons.
The Kyodo newspaper wrote about it, citing a source in the government. Thus, the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may have changed its position on the country's three principles with regard to arms exports in accordance with the country's Constitution.
Until now, Japan has formally adhered to its position that the three principles of transferring defense equipment and technology abroad prohibit arms exports except for joint development or production projects with another country.
But the government informed the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition party, Komeito, at their May meeting that exports of defense devices with lethal potential are possible because there are no explicit bans.
The government cited surveillance vehicles and self-defense minesweepers armed with autocannons as examples of such products, the source specified.
"Japan can export defense equipment equipped with lethal weapons to countries with which it cooperates in security if the purpose of their use is rescue, transportation, vigilance, surveillance or clearance," he said.
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the government will decide whether lethal weapons can be transferred "on a case-by-case basis."
Against the backdrop of the regulation, Japan has provided defense products such as body armor and helmets to Ukraine, although Western countries have supplied military equipment, including missiles, tanks and fighter jets.
As a reminder, Japan is considering supplying the United States with artillery shells for 155 mm cannons to replenish supplies for the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counterattack. So far, Tokyo has only provided Kyiv with non-lethal assistance.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, in May, the Japanese government decided to provide Ukraine with about 100 trucks for use by the AFU. Also Tokyo plans to transfer rations to Ukrainian military personnel.