Japan Allows Weapons Sales to US

Fri Dec 22 2023
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TOKYO: Japan on Friday eased arms export controls for the first time in nearly a decade, a measure that would enable the country to sell domestically made Patriot missile defense systems to Washington.

Japan strictly controls the export of arms under its constitution, which restricts its military capacity to ostensibly defensive measures.

According to a government document after the rule was approved by the Cabinet, the transfer of defense equipment overseas will contribute to global peace and security, and will also boost collaboration with allies and the US in security areas.

Local media have reported that sales of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC3) system to the United States would be Japan’s first export of deadly arms since the end of World War II.

Earlier, the United States, Japan and South Korea had activated a system to share North Korean missile warning data in real time.

The three countries also jointly established a multiyear strategy for trilateral military exercise as agreed by their defense chiefs in s meeting in November as they seek to counter North Korea’s evolving missile and nuclear threats.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a joint statement at their Phnom Penh summit in November last year first agreed to share the missile warning data in real time.

In August this year, the three leaders reiterated the efforts and agreed to operationalize the system by the end of the year at Camp David summit.

As the US has bilateral agreements with South Korea and Japan, there has not been a direct data link between the two neighboring countries.

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