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article imageJapan opens up to exporting weapons worldwide

By Sravanth Verma     Jan 15, 2015 in World
Japan, which for 70 years since the end of World War 2, has restrained itself from aggression or building a full-scale army, has now changed its policy and is willing to sell weapons to certain countries.
The change has been brought about by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attempting to revive the economy and move Japan away from its wartime legacies. Abe's Japan is faced by angry neighbors and victims of Japan's wartime aggression, China and Korea.
Though Abe has lifted the self-imposed weapons export ban, he has said Japan will “continue to adhere to the course it has taken to date as a peace-loving country.” Most Japanese do not welcome the change. A majority of the population seems to prefer pacifism, with the Asahi Shimbum newspaper survey showing 77 percent of respondents opposed to the change while only 17 percent were for it.
Thirteen Japanese companies also opened a booth at Eurosatory, the defense and security equipment exhibition. Their exhibits included an armored vehicle, land mine disposal units and emergency wireless communication systems. The companies had inked the deal to participate even before the government had officially changed its policy.
Japan has also been urging Britain to purchase its P-1 submarine-hunting jet, for over $1 billion, though it faces competition from Boeing's P-8 Poseidon. Talks are also on to sell a dozen diesel-powered Soryu class submarines to Australia, as well as selling seaplanes to India and tanks to Turkey.
“For the Japanese government, this is not just about export deals,” said Masanori Kegoya of the Defense Ministry’s equipment policy division. “This has a lot to do with our foreign diplomacy so we are making progress only gradually. The main purpose is not to bring in more income or to sell our weapons, but to contribute to international peace and security. The fundamental position is that Japan should stay as a peace-loving nation that does not promote conflict.”
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